I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with hubby at his latest port visit - in Panama! It was all done in true military fashion; thought of last minute, frantic work on the home end to get it all organized, 2 very questionable moments of "will he even be there" and worth every dollar and frantic second.
While I did receive a few "what were you thinkings" from friends and family I told upon my return to the states, the whole experience was amazing. I would never have gone to Panama for any other reason and was able to experience an incredibly hospitable culture. The bear (yes, I brought him with) had some tummy problems towards the end, but even hanging out with in a hotel room was perfect. It had been a month and a half since I had talked to him. I have full respect for the military members who go overseas and those on surface ships, but I feel like it's a completely different ballgame for the Submariners. We have the unreliable email limited to 300 words a day for all of our contact. No mail. No phone calls. No email attachments for pictures.
I am very lucky to have the financial savings and sheer guts to have gone. While a phone call would have been a treat, sometimes a hug is really in order. Parting hurt my heart all over again though. At least this time, I know it will not be as long without hearing his voice.
It was an interesting role reversal when the bear and I headed for the airport. I have always been the one "left" and hubby is the leaver. This time, I walked away and he returned to our home (granted it was a hotel room this time). He said he had a new respect for what the wives go through. He had to return to the room we had just been together to see an empty crib, glass half full of water on the nightstand and memories of a weekend. I was blessed enough to get a phone call from him last night since they were still in port as I drove back home from the airport. I think we both were enlightened on what the other experiences.
I am so very lucky to have a wonderful hubby who makes me so proud and gives us these opportunities. The bear is going to be one traveled kiddo. At 9 months, he's been to 14 states and has a stamped passport. Not too shabby.