Saturday, January 06, 2007

Really hard, yet proud day!

Friday night I fed about 45 hungry people here at Chad's farewell party. It was such a nice evening with family and good friends. Chad felt loved and we feel so appreciative of everyone who came on such short notice. My good friend Paula helped me out and made a batch of the frybread for me to help ease my burden. She saved me with that so people could eat as I was frying up the second batch. It worked out perfectly. I'm going to be honest and tell you my kitchen is still a mess. I was too tired to clean it up. Mark woke up at 3:00 in the morning and took Chad to check in and came back to wake me and Sandy up at 4:00. I t was so hard to get up because I had a hard night and only got a couple of hours sleep. We got there around 5:00 and the ceremony started at 6:00. There were over 500 soldiers deployed,with lots of families to see them off.
We had a stranger take this one of all of us after the ceremony. It's far away, but I'll crop it later.



We got to spend about an hour with Chad before he left. Sandy and I had been crying off and on, but trying to keep a smile as much as we could. Chad did pretty well until I asked him how he was doing and what he was feeling. He got emotional, so of course I was crying again. I'm just so proud of him. The time passed quickly...too quickly. The busses were ready and so was the patriot guard ( probably 100 motorcycles with flags on the backs) who escort the busses to the airport. It was a really neat thing to see. Our final good-bye's before he left were the hardest. I held him tight and said I love you my boy. Sandy had her emotional good-bye and Mark hugged him and told him he loved him and to return with honor. When his bus pulled away my whole heart hurt more than I ever thought possible. It's been a really rough day. We came home and Sandy and I slept for several hours. When I woke up Brek and Brittany brought baby Mark over for me to take care of while they went on a date. We got to talk to Chad when he got there. He is settling in and doing good. Sandy cried pretty much all day. Chad asked me to take care of her...of course I will. I was strong while I talked on the phone to him, because I know that crying only makes it harder on him. I'm just exhausted...both physically and emotionally, but I know it will get better.

38 comments:

Cee said...

Dear Jolene:

Both Chad and your family are in my prayers.

You're LOVED!

tracy said...

Jolene, you are a strong lady and will get through this. God bless you and our family.

Jacquie said...

Oh my you and Sandy look so sad in that picture it breaks my heart. The patriot guard would have been awesome to see, a befitting tribute for these brave young men.

Heather said...

Jolene,
I am sitting here crying now too....I know that my children are still young...but as a mother....I am right there with you. The pictures say so much! Thank you for sharing with us! You are strong and a great example for all of us to follow! Prayers are going up for you and your family! Stay strong!

Chickenbells said...

Sweetie, my heart goes out to you...and if I was there, I would just hold you and let you cry on my shoulder. I suppose it will get easier, but it's so hard in the beginning isn't it? I am glad you have the rest of your sweet family to gather around you...keep your chin up (and keep on feeling everything too!) hugs to you and everyone else!

September said...

You're all in my prayers, sweetie. I'm sitting here with tears streaming just thinking about how hard this all is. Love you lots, September

Leah said...

aww.. jolene.. I am sitting here in tears. I know you guys will miss him terribly. The pictures are priceless..you can see the emotions in them and even how proud you are of him. Best wishes to you guys.

Valerie said...

loving you, sweetie. loving you.

Teresa said...

Oh My God Jolene, I'm in tears.... and I'm sniffling so much... Rusty keeps asking what is wrong... You are such a strong person... with such a wonderful family... Poor Sandy too...

I don't know if I told you this before but I live right behind our airport with the runway as my closest across the street neighbor... Today when I went out to get the mail, this big United States Navy Plane flew in.... I automatically thought of you....

I know Chad isn't in the Navy but I knew he was leaving today... Strange how all of our blogger friends have become part of our daily lives... and how things like this make us think of each other....

Girl Stay Strong, Chad will be back safe and sound.... Gosh how I'm thinking of you and your family..... got to go while I can...... T

Leona said...

I'm sitting here and crying,this has broke my heart. You all are very brave! You and your famliy will be in my prayers.

Susie Q said...

Jolene...I am so sorry that your heart is so broken right now. I am also so sorry for Sandy...even the pictures speak volumes.
I was a military wife for 27 years and I feel such sympathy for Sandy...it is so hard to send the man yiu love away for so long and with so much worry. But dear Jolene...I am also a Mom and I can only imagine how you feel. You have been in my heart for days...you are all in my prayers.
I will ask for prayers for Chad tomorrow in church. The day you say goodby is always the worst...it DOES ease and life goes on. That I promise you. Still. that does little to help now. Just know that we all care and that we will all have you and your family in our prayers.
God Bless...love and hugs,
Sue

Kim j said...

I just want to send Big Hugs out to you and your family.

Kim j

Rhona said...

Jolene, as a mum I can only imagine what you're going through (both pride and heartache) and for Sandy to say goodbye to her new fiance so quickly too. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Missy's Blog said...

Jolene ... the photos you've shared show all the emotions of your day perfectly.

God Bless your family ...

Andi said...

Okay I have to admit I have tears streaming down my face after reading your blog. But I know you have to be so proud of your Chad. All of those young soldiers are making such a commitment and sacrifice for their country...our country.

Will Chad have email access? I work with a woman whose son just returned home with his unit after a 15 month tour of duty in Iraq and she was able to receive email from him and phone calls.

Once he arrives you'll have to share his address and we can all take turns sending him a "goodie box". The post office has these great flat rate boxes that hold quite a bit. I sent one to Ben full of things he liked and he loved it. Patti made a list of his favorite goodies...so you'll have to post that on your blog.

I know you'll stay happy and positive for him and Sandy. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

Did you send one of the Christmas Card pictures of your family dressed in cammo with him? Be sure and send one so he can have his smiling family to show off.

Hugs, Andi

Jen said...

Oh my...what can I say that hasn't already been said?
Very heart wrenching...can only imagine how bad for you all.

Where is he headed to now? I remember he's being deployed overseas but cannot remember the details.

Stay strong and keep those pictures forever and ever...they are true memories....

And remember Mom, this is what he chose to do, and he's proud :o) no matter how hard it is for you, he's a proud boy {hugs to you}

Maren said...

*hugs* to you. I will add your family and Chad to our prayers as well. This is a good reminder to me to remember our men and women who are preserving our freedom. I don't want to ever take it for granted. Take it one day at a time and this year will be over before you know it. I am always amazed looking back at how fast the time seems to go, but it can be so long and hard while in the midst of it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings here. I think it is doing a lot of good.

Sheila said...

Jolene, I know your heart is breaking, but try to stay strong. Chad will be in my prayers, as well as your whole family. {{hugs}} to you. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you. Much love to you.

mn mom said...

Sending,hugs,love,and prayers your way. You, Chad, Sandy and your whole family our in our thoughts and prayers. How difficult it must have been for you, but how proud you must be of this sacrifice that your son is making for his country and people he doesn't even know. He is already a hero! Take care, Amy =)

Briana said...

OMG! I'm crying buckets here! How sad! This has been so hard on so many familes, it just isn't fair. I am so thankful for men and women like him, however, who are ensuring that mine and all other familes are safe here in the US.

HUGS to you!

Chris said...

And he looks so handsome in uniform. We will keep him in our family prayers and hope to hear all about him as you do...e-mail me his address....Morgan wants to write him too.
10 more weeks left.....and counting...

(( hugs ))

Amie said...

I am crying & I hardly even know you LOL!! I hope the time goes really really quick.

Thinking of you Amie

Sherry said...

I am praying for you and your family.

velvet brick said...

Dear Jolene,
Wow....
I am just so teary-eyed with your telling of how things went... first of all...thank you for sharing this very special family moment with us. We all are keeping you and Chad and your family close in our prayers and our hearts. The pictures truly are worth a thousand words and priceless. But I know, I just know solidly and true, that there will be an entry from you one of these days of Chad's return, of joy, smiles and tears of happiness!! I was 11 yrs. old when I kissed my daddy good-bye as he left for Vietnam...but he came back, and so will Chad... safe and sound. God bless Chad, you and your family, Jolene. Peace be with you.
VB
http://velvetbrickspot.blogspot.com

Melissa said...

A picture is worth a thousand words, and I was brought to tears looking at yours.

I pray you have peace in the coming weeks and months, and that Chad will indeed return with honor!

~Telah said...

What a touching post...I was in tears. Chad and all your family will be in my prayers.

Caroline said...

I was thinking of you guys all day yesterday wondering how you were doing. I know it's hard, but the whole country is proud of Chad and what he is doing so we have our everyday freedoms.

(((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

you sould be PROUD!
God bless your Chad.
He's in our prayer & thoughts.
xo,
maryjo

Anonymous said...

Hot tears are streaming down my face as I read your blog tonight!! God Bless you, Chad, your family and all those that headed out with him!! My sweet son in only 11 but is hoping to be a military man one day....and I can only imagine what this feels like!! (((((((BIG HUGS))))))

I happened upon your blog via Ali Edwards blog....and have to admit I'm hooked! I love that your LDS (I'm an adult convert), and that you love your family so much!!

Please know that Chad and your family are recieving extra prayers from me.

Sincerely~
Julie Janoski

Anonymous said...

My heart completely breaks for your sorrow. It is such an honorable thing your son is doing, I know you are so very proud yet so scared at the same time. Baby Mark and the new baby on the way are a huge blessing to make the days pass faster for you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Laura

Kristan Paolacci said...

{{{{{HUGS}}}}} Jolene as I watched the news this weekend of the troops being deployed, I just sat and watched and cried. My heart was breaking for you. I know you are so proud of your boy. What an honorable young man you have raised. But a mothers heart just breaks when you have to let him go. My heart was breaking right along with yours. My husband asked why I was crying and I had to explain to him about your boy. We will keep him in our prayers. Meanwhile keep yourself busy. Know that your friends are here and thinking about you.

Kristan

Coleen said...

Awww honey, you look so sad in those pictures. I wish could take that hurt away from you. It broke my heart. I know it will be tough for you all but he too is tough and will be home with you all once his job is complete. Please know that my thoughts are with you all and I pray for a safe return.

Now I am sobbing. I got to thinking about how I would feel if it were my son and it really frightened me. We live in a military town and it is inevitable that he has an interest but I am selfish I would hope he changes his mind by the time he is old enough. PLease keep us all posted on how he is doing, and of course remember that we are all here for you, if only to read your words and support your feelings. We all care more than you will know.

All my love to you!

Anonymous said...

Jolene, I live in Phoenix and when I read the paper on Sunday about the Guard unit leaving Sat am, I figured that is where you were. Your message is very emotional and I hope your sadness in missing him will turn into strength for you. I'm sure you will be a strong support system to Sandy and vice versa. It is so refreshing to hear a future mother in law speak so fondly of her son's fiancee. You definitely have a GREAT big heart! I'm thinking of your family. Stay strong! Susan

Pam said...

Sending you and Sandy lots of big hugs. You two will be strong for Chad and I know how hard that will be. I know I couldn't do it and I admire you both! Thanks for sharing such an emotional time with us!

sohpiasmom said...

Praying for the pain to cease...this must be hard. I'm so thankful for men like Chad (for his gift of freedom) and I'm sure you are proud. Hang in there...things will get better :)

Nikki *Ü* said...

Oh what a hard day for you, I'm sure. My prayers will be with Chad and with your family as well.

SmileyCarrie said...

Wow - such beautiful and emotional pictures you have captured here. Thinking of you, your family and especially Chad. You must be so proud of your strong, brave son. *hugs*

Coleen said...

Yes, this did make me cry to see my nephew leaving and to seeing my sister crying. I love both of you, I also feel so proud of Chad for sticking through with what he said he would do. You and I both know that it never used to be his strong suit. He is really growing as a man and will turn into a wonderful husband for Sandy. I love you lady and if I can do anything for you I will.