Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sam Deploys

Today was the culmination of several happy-sad days. Sam has had so much work to do as he prepared to deploy, but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all had spaces of time that had to be spent in personal packing, which meant he was with us more. We did a lot of last-minute errands, tasks, and just hanging out; but it was all intentional family time.

Arden helped pack some of daddy's snacks for the ship by taste-testing...

I helped assemble and install the extremely complicated living-room fan, though at the moment pictured I had surrendered the instructions to Sam, being personally befuddled by them.


We went over to Honolulu for breakfast at a crowded little place recommended by Sam's academy sponsors who were once stationed here.

On Sunday, after Sam loaded all his gear onto the ship, a seaman gave us a personal and extensive tour of the ship. We weren't allowed to take photos inside, which is unfortunate, for I wish you could see it! A complicated series of narrow passages, tiny rooms, locking doors, and stairs that are steeper than ladders had me turned around in no time, and I had no idea whether we were up or down.

Here is the little family posing on the helo landing pad on the back of the ship, where Sam will do all his landing and taking off. The biggest "space" on board was the hangar, which the helo can still only fit into by folding its blades and tail up!

Fearless Arden had me in a state of constant, quiet panic as she toddled directly for dock or railing, sticking her head out over to see the water far below.

"Don't mind if I do." Arden thoroughly enjoyed (and was an angel at) Sam & Dora's favorite, Chili's. One last time...

And then today, Sam left. We went to the docks (Pearl Harbor) a little early, so we had an hour of standing in the sun, watching him and the others in the detachment while they all stood on deck and waved to us. It was sad and odd to be so close (only 10-ish or so yards) yet really with a distance of six months between us. If we yelled he could hear, but one can’t go yelling cheesy things about love and missing while all the sailors are watching and listening, eh? Actually, one could. But we had said all those things already. This was just an extended, beautiful torture. Then finally the shoremen released the ropes and the ship pulled away, and all the wives who were blustering around wondering when they would actually get underway and frustrated by seeing their husbands but not being able to talk to them, dissolved into tears. It is quite a sight, everybody in their white uniforms, standing at attention around the perimeter of the ship, getting slowly smaller and distant. Sad times. But God knows, and ordained these days for both my brother and sister-in-law (and for me, I guess), so He’s to be trusted in it all.

Sam is on deck behind me. I'm standing on the edge of the dock.

Arden, poor baby, didn't really understand what was happening. After one or two waves to her father, she found many other things to be interested in. Sam is the left-most of the three in the background, watching her.


1 comment:

Anna Peterson said...

sad... :(

Don't you mean he is farthest on the right? The farthest on the left looks slightly like a lady...