After seventeen days, Andrew’s leave ended today.
We left the house at 6am and just a few hours later, I was saying goodbye in a parking lot. As I walked around the car to give him a goodbye hug, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, but I fought them back.
“Stay strong. Son.” I said. “Make me proud. I love you so much.”
He hugged me, I hugged him back.
“I will, Mom. I love you too.”
He turned and walked away carrying all of his things. I sat in the car and watched him walk away.
“He’s a man now. My son is a man.”
I wanted to roll down my window and shout out “I love you! I’m going to miss you!” like I used to do when he was just a little guy. But I just sat there, watching him, proud of him. And then, I drove away and left him to do continue his journey.
His time here with us was simply wonderful, but the days flew by too quickly. He’s gone again and his presence here is already missed deeply. I can only hope the next three months pass as quickly as the last seventeen days did.