The forty-five mile drive to the airport is probably the longest hour of our lives. What more can you possibly say to each other that hasn't been said in the past three weeks ... or even since you went to bed just five hours ago?
We drive along. Making small talk. Gibbering away at the menusha, that frankly, I know I won't even remember once I kiss him good-bye at the curb.
The tears didn't come until he took his bag out of the trunk of my car. Until he whispered in my ear about how much he hates leaving. Me too. Meeee toooooo. I'm usually fine with our decision until he leaves and I have the reminders of what-just-was ... and what-won't-be for another few months again. Amazing how quickly the loneliness jumps out and bites you in the tush.
But I quickly dry my eyes because I need to drive home. To get home. By way of Starbucks of course. To pick up my infamous triple grande caramel macchiatto ... and two chocolate croissants. For the girls...
Back to the grind we were forced to go. Which would have been just fine had I not received a phone call from Matt once he arrived in DC with the craziest of news. Apparently, the unrest in the Middle East, that has affected so many of our friends, has finally begun to affect Iraq. And while that wouldn't be a problem once he GOT there, it IS a problem when you're stranded and you can't get IN there. All Military Air flights have been canceled for the next several days.
Had they sent the email just a few hours prior, Matt could have been stranded here. Instead, he was heading into an unknown situation. Would he be able to sneak on a flight back to Baghdad? Would he have to stay in Kuwait? It was 1 am in Jordan by the time we heard any of this, and thus couldn't reach anyone via the emergency travel number to discuss changing his flights. And not knowing what the situation might really be once he arrived in Kuwait, was forced to take his chances and fly out.
Now we wait. As I'm well trained to do. Though I'll admit, sometimes aspects of this lifestyle just aren't easy ... and this long road feels today, like it has no exits ...