We were officially in deployment mode which meant shopping, Will destroying our guest room with all the packing, and spending as much quality time with each other as possible. With this deployment being our first one we honestly didn't know what to expect. Will is always cool, calm and collected so he handled everything like a champ, while I was the one constantly staring at him with sad eyes (making him very uncomfortable), randomly giving him the "I love you" speeches like it was going to be my last, and having mini freak outs every now and then. Its safe to say I have been a bit of an emotional mess, but in my defense this is in no way normal and you can't really prepare yourself for it.
Luckily we have some amazing friends out here, who are deployment veterans, and knew exactly how to get my mind off Will leaving. May 10 we drove up towards the mountains to a city called Hakone. There is a Zip line and Ropes course we had signed up to do and to be honest it was way harder then we thought! Even though we had some rope burns and blistered hands, we had the best time and it was just what I needed.
The next weekend was move in day on the USS George Washington, Wills home for the next 7 months. I got to see his room that he shares with 8 other guys and see first hand how they live. I am definitely not jealous of boat living, but Will seemed to think it was going to be fine which is all that matters.
|USS George Washington|
|Professional picture I grabbed off the internet|
|The USS George Washington on its way!|
Will got to fly a jet onto the boat so he didn't have to leave right away while the boat pulled out of port. I was more then fine with this because it meant more time together! Since we didn't know exactly what night was going to be Wills last, we had a "last date night" about 3 times. We had good ol' american food in Yokohama followed by drinks on the rooftop patio, amazing Ramen in Machida and a homemade southern meal right at home. The day before Will left we ventured up into the mountains to fish in the river. Will was in heaven fly fishing and I couldn't think of a better way to end our time together.
|Our first "last date night" in Yokohama|
The day finally came when I had to drop Will off on base and say goodbye. I was really strong in holding back my tears up until that last hug before he walked away! I always knew this day would come and even when you tell yourself your ready…its not always true. Will and I had to deal with a lot of distance prior to being married, but deployment has added a new twist for me.
|The moment I lost it...|
Nothing makes me more proud then to be Will Cravens wife. He is so brave and selfless and is worth every sad or hard day I have in my future. We have put our full trust in the Lord and know that his plan is perfect no matter what hurdles we will face.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! This is definitely a new and some what uneasy chapter in our life but I have the most incredible friends and support system both in Japan and back home.
My best friend Grace will be joining me in Japan in a few weeks and I will make my way to Australia to meet up with Will for a few days this summer!
Love you all and thank you again!
Caroline and Will