Morning came way too soon. We ended up at Flanagan's again for the breakfast buffet. It was terrific, and we left to go get things squared away at the hotel. One of the most important things, was the List. Alex was now allowed to have his cell phone, his MP3 player and other things, so there was a list to be followed when I got home.
I had charged my phone up and Alex was able to call my sister and my brother and talk to them. He talked to Travis and my nephew, Cannon, who is 2 years old, and was full of stories. After all the phone calls, I had about 10 minutes of time left on my phone, but that was ok.
We packed up all of our stuff, minus a Cool Whip container lid that suddenly disappeared while we were packing (and hasn't been found since). Alex wanted to get back to his base and get situated with his new environment. We parked and walked on the base after passing security, of course, and made our way to the USO on base. I didn't know there were places for enlisted men and women like this on the base!
It had nearly everything! Books, music room, arcade and game room, prayer room, and an eating area where they were serving up baked goods, drinks, and the flat screen television was playing "A Night at the Museum". There were brochures of events and attractions in the Chicago area, and information on anything and everything you might want to see or do while you are there. What a wonderful place. Kudos to those who are in charge of keeping this place operating for our enlisted men and women, in Great Lakes and in bases all over the world.
We then decided it was time to go. Alex walked us to the checkpoint, and we hugged him goodbye. I was fighting the tears all the way to the car. I didn't even cry until we got home, which I thought was pretty good. For me anyway.
One of the first missions I had when we got home, was gathering the list of things Alex could now have. I had them all in a box and in the mail on Monday, happy that soon I could hear from Alex anytime he wanted to call me. No more waiting for everyone to be "good" before he could call and tell me something. I could call and leave him messages, and once he got a computer, send him emails and pictures, too.
But the hardest thing I had to do, was leave him there, get in the car, and drive home without him. College Moms and Dads, my heart goes out to all of you.
By the way, how many days until Christmas??