According to the American Airlines web site Troy landed at 2pm in Port au Prince. He is staying in town tonight at a guest house so I won't hear from him until tomorrow. As soon as I do I will post.
Saying goodbye was ... uh, I don't know if I know what word I am looking for. I guess it was mainly just a surreal afternoon together. We ended up finally leaving my mom and dad's house at around 1:30 (after one false start and turning back to get the internet telephone that Troy needed.) We went to walk around the Mall of America. We let the kids ride a few rides and Britt and Paige went to spend some of their Christmas gift cards.
The contrast between where we were standing last night and where we are headed was very real to us. We stood watching our kids run from bright lighted rides to jumping in huge balloons, passing 10 places to get any food you can imagine, on to lego-land...total sensory overload.
Troy has since landed in a country without a single department store, mall, or amusement park. 99% of the children have no idea what legos are. Beyond that, most of the children count themselves lucky to get a plate of rice and beans once a day. It is a sobering contrast. It hit us in a different way last night. I for one just kept reflecting on how incredibly lucky we are to have the prosperity and the opportunities that we do.
Because the mall is right near the airport we got to watch quite a few planes landing and taking off. Jack-Jack (Noah's nickname) kept screaming "Haiti - Haiti - Haiti" ... it seems that telling the kids we would go on an airplane to Haiti has confused Jack into thinking that airplanes are actually called "Haiti."
After we left the mall at about 8pm we went and stayed at a hotel near the airport. The seven of us were packed in like sardines - it was a lot of fun. We watched Madagascar together. When the movie was over we prayed together and Troy went around to say goodnight to everyone and hug them goodbye so he would not have to wake them up to say it at 5am. It was dark in the room and he had started to cry by the time he was done. We were hugging and crying but the kids did not know it because it was so dark. It had been quiet for a few minutes and then Noah started fake snoring ... we all busted out laughing. What a goofy 22 month old! He's learned what snoring is from hearing "Pa-Pa." Now he does an excellent immitation. (Dad, now even your youngest grandchild is mocking you.) ;)
Laughing while you are crying is the best. My sister always quotes a line from Steel Magnolias and says "laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." It was a good way to get over crying and go to sleep.
This morning when I dropped Troy at the ticketing level and we were both crying again he says: "This was your idea." That made me laugh. It wasn't really, but I knew what he meant and it was another good tension/sadness breaker.
We are back to Big Lake now. We stopped at the mall so Britt could return something that lost its appeal in the night??? The photos below are from today.
Please pray for my sweetie. I recognize that military wives all over the USA handle seperation after seperation for months on end ... I am amazed by them. Troy and I have never been apart for three weeks in 9 years of being together ... maybe if he was not so wonderful and sweet it would be easier. I guess I have a good problem on my hands..!?!