We had hoped that we were going to get to take you to the gate, but it didn't work out. So we had to say good-bye at United Airline Security. I think the reality of the moment started to sink in for all of us. You walked away from your carry on luggage once and you second guest where your passport was. I worried that you would leave your carry on bag on the airline when you changed plans in LA. Which was your back up of necessities if they lost your main luggage. But we all took a deep breath , regrouped and went over the basics. I think when you started to hug your sisters is when the pain of the reality set in and I began to cry. A cry of a mother knowing she was not going to see her first born for 2 years. And even though I would cry much harder and longer if you weren't going on a mission, I was still going to miss you like crazy. As I saw you walked through security your father said to me...you won't see that boy again. It will be a totally different Alec when he returns. I can't wait to meet that Alec.