Friday, May 28, 2010

When Tom Leaves....

Tom came home the other day with a box and a bag full of stuff.

“Did you bring home pie?” I asked hopefully. I had been craving pie.

“No pie. But I did go to the Airman and Family Readiness Center and picked you up a few things. For when I go,” Tom said, setting everything down on the kitchen counter.

My heart squeezed. It does that whenever he mentions leaving. He’ll be in Korea for a year. He leaves in August.

Tom opened the box. “So there’s a bunch of stuff in here, plus two recordable bears so I can leave a message, here’s some DVDs and....are you CRYING?”

Oh. I hadn’t even realized. But as I touched my cheek I realized it was wet.

“I just...” I sniffed. “You’re LEAVING!” It was as if it all hit me right then and there. I mean, I’ve known that Tom would be leaving for many months now. But looking at everything just made it real. Soon Tom would be gone and then only thing we’d have is some recordable bears with his voice.

“It’ll be okay,” Tom said, pulling on his collar. He’s never comfortable when I start to cry. I think a part of him wants to bellow, "There's no crying in Air Force life!"

“What if you don’t come back?” I continued, fiddling with the stationary that was included in the box.

Tom frowned. “Where would I go?”

“Some Korean woman could seduce you with her cooking!”

Tom scratched his arm. “Um. I’ve seen that bizarre foods show, Koreans like to eat bugs and dog. I doubt there will be any seducing going on.”

“What if I die in my sleep?” I continued.

“Have your friend Amanda alert the police if she hasn’t heard from you every five hours,” Tom suggested.

“What is this supposed to be?” I held up a DVD.

“Um. A dinosaur I think?”

I peered closer at it. Oh. Maybe it was a dinosaur. But what kind of name is Mr. Poe?

I lifted up a checklist.

“This creeps me out,” I said, pointing to the one that talked about putting a photo up so it could watch me sleep. “I mean I have pictures of you by my bedside but you know I freak out if I feel someone is watching me sleep.”

This is true. Tom once watched me as I slept because he said I looked adorable. I ended up jumping out of bed screeching, “JESUS what are you DOING?” I just hate the feeling of being watched.

“Will you leave me a sweet message on the bears?” I wondered.

“I think they’re for the kids. But I’ll make a video for you. Maybe even rated R.” Tom wiggled his eyebrows up and down.

Always the perv, even when I’m in tears.

“Everything will be okay,” Tom promised, pulling me close.

“You promise?” I mumbled into his shoulder.

“Definitely. You only have to worry about a Korean seducing me if she cooks Italian food,” Tom joked.

I smacked his arm lightly.

“No, but seriously, everything will be okay. Now cheer up.”

I sniffled. “Only if we can get some pie.”

Tom grinned. “Okay. Pie it is.”

So when Tom is gone and I feel sad I’ll just get some pie.

Or, you know, go shopping.


  1. Awww this post made me cry a little...a whole year! I'd be a basket case!

  2. Two things that always make me feel better too!
    A whole year! Man, I couldn't do it.

  3. Aww I'm so sorry. I've seen what my sister in law goes through when my brother is gone. He leaves for Afghanistan in August for 13 months. I can't even imagine. That's a lot of mommy in charge! You can do it. And I can't wait to read about it.

  4. Aww. I don't know how I'd handle my husband going away for a YEAR. Sigh. I suppose that's what comes with the territory for you, though. Wishing you tons of cuddles from your voice-recorded bears, a considerable amount of delectable pie, and some serious shopping.

  5. It's tough Amber, mine left for Iraq when I was six months pregnant and still liked him.

    You'll get through it though and some days will be so easy you won't believe it and others will be so hard you'll go to bed thinking you can't make it another day without him.

    Then he'll come back, wiggle his eyebrows at you and you'll think to yourself "geez, are you back already??".

  6. This post is so sad and funny and adorable and heart-wrenching. And Mr. Poe is a crappy name for a dinosaur.

  7. Oh, sweetie!
    You will have us, and in the meanwhile, learn to cook Italian food ;)

  8. I hope the time he's gone flies by. Military wives have my admiration for all they go through with their husband's job, it seems so hard.

  9. You guys are amazing! The bears for the kids are a great idea.

  10. Girl . . . You gotta love some retail therapy! :)

  11. Shopping is always good when you're sad!!!! :)

  12. I will be keeping a special good thought line open for you, Tom and the kids the entire year. Please know that I am part of a grateful nation.

    And if you want pie, shoot me an email and I'll bake you the best darn pie you've ever had!

  13. MMM pie! We can cry together if you want. My hubby is leaving July 1st and I am going to be alone with a 2 year old and a 4 month old 5 days a week for a year. I've been a big ole stress case about it, I can't even imagine him being in another country. I feel for you. Let's have pie together! :)

  14. Amber I know it's gonna be hard but you can Skype and email etc...better technology today. Maybe while he is gone you can taking cooking lessons...WHAT who said that not me don't kick my ass!

  15. That's gotta be so hard. Kudos for being a strong woman!

  16. i know how hard this is...

    well.. only sorta, since we have no kids.. so really it was only myself i had to take care of for a yr... but i'll be thinking of ya, and sending you well wishes and good lucks!

  17. My husband was deployed for training and in Iraq for 22 months. I can't imagine what it would have been like if we had had kids at that time.

    Remember that some days it is okay to just break down and let it all out, but be careful of getting stuck in that mood. Your kids need you and your friends may not understand why you're so withdrawn. Work on keeping all those supportive connections. They help keep you busy.

    And definitely pick up some cooking with Lydia cookbooks or watch her on PBS!

  18. Hi Amber
    I have been following your blog for quite sometime now. (Every since you posted it on the AFCROSSROADS page) I just want to let you know I am in the same boat as you right now. My hubby has been gone since November. We are over the hump. YEAH Our follow on is Charleston, SC. I came to live with my parents because they live in SC too and we want to buy a house. Plus I did not want to stay at Ellsworth any longer. LOL I just wanted to let you know if you need any support or if your husband needs any info on Korea (Osan) I am sure my husband can give some advice. My hubby is a gamer too I thought I would throw that out there. LOL I am on facebook Heather Higgins Davis. Feel free to pick my brain.

  19. I admire you so much. I couldn't do it and you must be an incredibly strong woman. I couldn't even let my hubby go to MA for 5 days alone to play at a festival with his band. I would be eating a lot of pie.

  20. or you can come up with shopping lists for him... because Korea has great stuff that is so much more affordable. My dad and brother always came back from Korea with goodies!

  21. Poor honey!

    Do pies ship? Maybe i'll just have to mail you a pie!

  22. My MIL is from Korea. So far she has not cooked us dog. Of course, we got dogs that are bigger than her, just in case.

    Anyway, hugs to you and to all military wives. Hugs, and lots of pie. Lots of pie.

  23. I am a Marine Corps veteran. I was formerly married to a Marine who used to deploy a lot!

    I'm sorry cuz I know it has to hurt your heart. :(

    Tell your husband thank you for his service!!

  24. Chin up soldier. You can do this! Don't waste your time being sad now while he's still here. Save that for when he's gone. :)

  25. My father's been in and out of the military most of my life. When he first talked to me about Husband, BioDad was all

    "So what is this guy majoring in?"
    "What's he doing after school?"
    "Oh, we don't know yet."
    "Well, I know an organization that could use good linguistics guys."
    "Dad, I don't think he's really the military type."
    "Well, if he gets a fire lit under him and joins up, you'd have to support him."

    And you're a much, much stronger/better woman than me, because after growing up as half a military brat, Husband joining up for anything short of the draft would have had me breaking off the engagement.

  26. Thank you all for your supportive notes!

    my3kgirlz I can't seem to find you on Facebook. I'm there under

  27. I'm a firm believer in pie.

    It'll get you through. I mean, just think of all the different flavors!

    And he's correct about the food. I'm pretty sure he won't leave you for kimchi. That mess is nasty.

  28. I'm also a lover of pie. My MIL painted me a small plaque for the kitchen wall that reads: Pie fixes everything.

    Lean on your friends, family, and interweb buddies. And, of course, pie. ;)

  29. Mine is off to Japan for a year. I sympathise. Empathise. And all the other-ises.

  30. Oohhh pie and a sexy video!

    Sorry for the lame comment - my brain froze up when it saw whatever that creature Mr. Poe is.....

  31. so sorry Tom has to leave. My hubs has been gone for almost 8 monthes now and he only gets to come home for about 48 hrs a week(& most of that time I am at work during this time. Our longest stretch so far without seeing him has been 9 days, but I guess that is nothing compaired to Korea.

    Sorry you didn't get any pie!

  32. You are strong! You can make it while he is gone...just always have a saralee pie in the freezer! :)

  33. Anybody and anything who has "& Friends" next to their name should not be trusted.

  34. You and all of the other military wives have my utmost appreciation and respect. Thank you for loaning our great nation a wonderful hero to protect us. Come home soon.

  35. I think this calls for TWO pies! And LOTS of shopping! Hugs, my dear!

  36. when Alex was in the Navy, that leaving on Westpac for 6 months nearly did me in. We had 4 of those. Then when he was AF, it was a year in Saudi right before the Iraq war. That nearly did me in too. Tough situation, and I know it's worse with kids. (In a way, maybe it was harder in a way because there were no kids to keep me busy. Just dogs and job.) Still, you get through it. I'm sorry it's going to be for so long Amber. It really will be okay.

  37. I am not sure if you know this or not but I work at my local USO and we offer a program called "United Through Reading" Here is a link to the program:

    Tom could make a few DVD's of him reading books to your kids, so when he is gone you can put it on for them. Just a suggestion! And hugs for you, I know it will be hard!!

  38. Amber - Thanks to you & your hubby for his service & your sacrifice. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like. Come on down to NC for a visit - I'll make you as many pies as you want and hubby'll teach you to cook Italian.

  39. I remember when my husband went away on his first overseas trip (he used to work for the State Dep't.) and it was the longest 3 months of my life. I can't begin to imagine my husband gone for a whole year. Thank you for all that your husband and your family do for us as a nation. We are truly thankful.

  40. Hang in there, and tell your husband thank you for his service and commitment.

    At least you got some pie out of the deal, right?? ;)

    Praying for you and your family!

  41. Gymboree BABY!

    Tell tOm thanks from Chief for doing what he does

  42. Mr. Poe is freaking me out. Seriously...what is that?

    And, oh, pie...I hope you got some!

  43. Pie cures all. And I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but there's a chain restaurant called The Village Inn who has FREE pie on Wednesdays. And it's gooooood. All you've gotta buy is a drink!

    I know it's going to be tough when Tom leaves. But hey. At least you'll have Mr. Poe ...

  44. I am sorry he has to go. Must be hard. I remember as a child my dad left twice for a long time before we could join him. Once to Germany and once to Okinawa. I am sure it was hard on my mom.
    That was so sweet that he brought all that stuff for you.

  45. I've never heard of picture posting...that is really creepy.

    And, my husband always tries to get R rated when I cry too...b/c I'm already upset so I'll either stay upset or laugh...he's just hoping for the latter.

    Stay strong, and have some pie...when my hubby was in Iraq for 13 months, once a week I would get my favorite chinese food, rent a movie, and pick up a Jamba Juice. Doing that one special thing for me truly kept me sane!

  46. I get choked up when The Husband goes to TX for 4 days at a time, so the thought of a year made *me* tear up for *you*. Retail therapy would work for me.

  47. Oh, come here....

    ((((((( )))))))))

  48. Aw... geez! A whole year? That makes me teary too. For you, cause you seem to like your husband. I might be throwing a See Ya Later party if it was my hubs! LOL J/k kinda...

  49. Parting is such sweet sorrow and you know, what that famous guy said...

    When you first mentioned that Tom was going for a whole year, I thought you were very casual about it. I chalked it up to being part and parcel with air force life, but I can see now how tough it is going to be. Your post has made me all teary eyed.

    We'll be here to bolster you when you feel a bit low, and pie is always a good pick-me-up.


  50. Awe. Sucks that he has to leave. Military life is tough tough. But funny that shopping cheers you up. My mom is the same way. I live in France and the rest of my family is in the US. When my visiting come to an end and I have to bid farewell to my parents, my mother is always in tears. By the time I get to the airport though, I'll call and she'll already be at Khols, cheering herself up in the best way she knows how.

  51. My Dad went away for a year twice when he was in the Air Force. And many shorter TDY's. My Mom always handled it well. Secretly, I sometimes wish I could send my husband away for a year. My kids have always behaved better when he's gone, even though it's only for a week at the longest. Focus on the get the bed all to yourself!!! You don't have to explain your purchases when you get home from shopping. And you have a really good excuse to eat pie. A LOT.

    We'll be here for you.

  52. It will be ok!! Better Korea than Iraq or Afghanistan! At least no one will be shooting at him, you know?? My advice is for you to either get a wonderful hobby (like STAMPING, lol!!) and/or make a goal for yourself for when he is gone. Take a college class, learn a new language, take some Italian cooking classes (to seduce your own husband!) to keep you productively busy!

    You can always come visit us in Italy!! We should be all settled in by then!

  53. Thank you for your service also; it's not easy seeing them go!

  54. Happy Saturday SITS Sharefest! Great post. I can't imagine how hard it is to say goodbye for a year. Stay strong, and eat lots of pie. :)

  55. Hey, no fair! You always make me laugh, but this one was a laugh and cry. You ARE Erma Bombeck. Hugs to you but not the sinister Mr. Poe.

  56. I can't even imagine a full year apart. But we'll be here cheering you on.... and baking pies in your honor :-)

  57. I don't envy you, but I do admire you. My friend's son has just graduated from the Air Force and will be posted overseas soon. I feel for all of you who have to part from loved ones.

  58. That's going to be tough for all of you...but on the bright side you will be able to stay in contact with all of todays technology! Not like back in the day when you had to hope and pray that the mail delivery on horse back would bring you a hand written letter from your military man.

    Stay positive. Your kids need ya! And besides you have US here on this blog! Hellooo! lol

    Sending you hugs and smiles...ok and pie too! Yum. :)

  59. Please thank your husband from my family for his service to our country. It will be hard to not have him with you, but from all I've read, you seem strong and you will make it through this! I admire you both for your courage to maintain a marriage while he is protecting not just his family, but an entire country of families. Deepest gratitude & God Bless.

  60. I can't imagine being without the one I love for a whole year. With pie, shopping and us, you will get through it! You are amazing!

  61. Jeez, one look at those bears and I started to get a little weepy. ((hugs)) Times like these definitely call for pie.

  62. This post is sad and funny at the same time! I love that you get freaked out if people watch you sleep...I do too :)

    Hugs to you!

  63. Pros and Cons of Tom being gone for a year:


    You are your own Boss!
    You don't have to cook a real dinner for a year!
    Tom won't be humping your butt every time you bend over.
    Tom won't talk to you during your TV programs.
    Tom won't be playing his stupid combat video games for hours on end!


    Being your own boss means you have to do EVERYTHING.
    Tom won't be humping your butt every time you bend over.
    He won't be there to watch the kids when you run out for a little "me" time.
    Who's going to kill the spiders?

    But don't worry, we'll be here for you. You're one brave girl, and a year will fly by in no time. And just think of all the blog fodder! :)

  64. awww, it'll be okay. we just have to keep praying that war between the two koreas dont break out.

    from SITS :)

  65. Maybe Tom will sign you up for the Pie of the Month Club or something. I can't imagine what it would be like sending my husband to a foreign country for a year.
    My thoughts will be with you.
    Stopping by from SITS!


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