We had such an incredible visit with my in-laws that I think we were all dreading today in our own ways. I know for Brooks seeing his parents is a true treat, and he misses them so much. With his schedule always being unpredictable, coupled with the distance separating us, we don’t normally travel up north too often to visit family anymore. And sure as anything, that’s a real shame. Family is such a huge part of our traditions, our stories, and our feeling of “home.”

As for my sweet Little Brooks his sorrow at seeing his grandparents leave left him wracked in sobs. It’s terribly difficult for him to be so far from all the people in his life that he loves and cherishes. After the boys gave repeated hugs and kisses The Boy couldn’t help jumping out of the car one last time to get one last hug. His face told the whole story: his little heart was breaking.

As for myself, seeing my boys saying goodbye to Toots and PopPop was heart wrenching. Brooks’s service has come with so much sacrifice, and those sacrifices don’t stop at myself and Little B. They really extend to all the family and friends that love us dearly but are separated from us by Brooks’s service. I can’t imagine what Brooks’s family goes through, knowing their son, brother, cousin, grandson is off in a country half way around the world, in danger. They have no idea when they’ll see him again and have to contend with sparse phone calls since Brooks calls us first. That has to be a hard thing and I don’t pretend to imagine knowing what that feels like, but I can empathize in my own way. And at the end of the day, when my Brooks’s are so sad at having to say goodbye to someone they love and miss dearly, I’m left to try and make it somewhat better, and I don’t always succeed at that. I’ve learned that Time is the greatest tool in that regard; with a little bit of time the unbearable gets somewhat more bearable, the wounds a little less deep, our grief diminished to some degree until something brings it all back to the forefront again.

I am incredibly thankful Brooks’s parents were able to make it for a visit. We have so many sweet memories that will surely carry us until we see each other again.

As always, life remains sweet, regardless of the circumstances.