A year ago this month, I stood in the airport with his parents, holding back tears as I watched him walk away from me, through the gate towards his awaiting plane. It would be okay though, 8 months really wasn’t long to wait. We would write, he said. And there was Christmas to look forward to.
HBL came and went. It was way too fast. And he wasn’t what I expected somehow – the same in ways I had expected…hoped…he’d be different. But there were still some signs of change, of growth. The way his hand fit into mine in an unfamiliar way – it was bigger. He was bigger. I soaked up every moment I could, and we rang in the first New Year I’d ever looked forward to. I wasn’t as good at holding back my tears at 5am when I left him at the airport that time, but he kissed me goodbye, and before I’d even reached the parking lot I looked down at my phone – “I miss you already.” I smiled through my tears.
An unexpected trip to Texas and Oklahoma for his graduation from Basic. I treasured every second, every hug, every smile. Only a few more months, he said, as I cried goodbye into his shoulder. We’re almost halfway there.
A year ago this month lit the spark – 8 months of planning for all of our adventures when he returned. 8 months of what-ifs. Could I be a military wife? Could I make that sacrifice? Somehow, without even knowing it, I almost already had.
8 months of writing every day. Of sitting in the living room in agony, waiting for a shadow to fall across the living room floor, and the sound of the mail flap hitting the house to tell me there was mail. 8 months of staring anxiously at phones, willing them to ring, praying that some idiot hadn’t ruined weekend privileges for everyone.
8 months of waiting, of joy, of tears, of love, of hope. Of heartbreak. Of letting go.
A year ago this month, I was moving towards one future…
Today I’m moving towards another.