Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15th Last Year

Wow, has it really been a year already? Yup, it's been a year since Matt came "home" (to California) from deployment. It's been a year since that picture was taken above. I flew out the day before from Indiana, after staying with Chrissy and Nathan after our family reunion. I had a ridiculously huge carry-on bag with me, and yes, I'll be honest, because I didn't want to pay to check another bag. The attendant who took my ticket gave me an awful look and said, "Where do you think you're going to put that?" I just sort of smiled nervously and waited for her to make me check it. She said nothing more, so I just kept walking. I stuffed that baby in good...and had specifically prayed for days that I would sit next to a decent guy who would help me lift it or get it out. haha Guess what? It happened! I'm a little fuzzy about the first flight, but on the 2nd one, a younger guy was in the outside seat next to me. He talked a little bit when we first boarded...asked where I was going, what I was doing there, etc. I told him about Matt coming home and I wish Matt could've seen my face talking about it. The guy was like, "Look at you. You're pretty excited about this!" "Well, yeah!! 10 months is a long time without your husband!"

It was crazy trying to occupy myself on base, pretty much alone, for about 32 hours before he got there (yeah, I didn't get much sleep). I was going nuts inside...full of anticipation, just like my wedding day, yet I had some nervousness being alone (and loneliness). I walked to the mini mart on base and ate a frozen pizza back at the room for dinner. I settled into the room I guess, and I'm pretty sure I went for a run on the track that night. Then I went back to the room to watch t.v. and try to get some sleep. The next morning, I took another walk to the mini mart for food for the day. I could've gotten everything the night before, but I knew I'd have lots of time to fill. After my lovely Easy Mac lunch, I headed back to the track to run off some energy. Of course there was a group doing their PT drills there, and I could feel the dozens of sets of eyes on me with every lap. I stayed out of their way, sticking to the outside, looking forward to having my partner (and protector...haha) beside me again. It's sort of a strange thing to be thousands of miles away from anyone I know and in the midst of palm trees. I can't remember what I ate for dinner that night...I just remember not being able to eat much because I was so excited. I kept waiting for the phone call as to the time he would arrive. It was supposed to be before 7pm originally I believe. It kept getting pushed back and pushed back...of course. I got myself ready...and waited...and waited. Matt ended up calling me from Alaska, their last leg. I kept myself "busy" by watching Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Gameshow (not much on) and A Baby Story (love that show). Finally, a friend of Matt's picked me up around 11 to take me to the terminal on base where Matt's squadron would arrive. Just before midnight the plane touched down. Matt was one of the last guys off the plane, but then I saw him! We had to dodge the other people and the baracades, and then we were together again...the pictures here show the rest.

Here we are, a year later, together with a little addition! This year went by pretty fast, and I wish that year had gone by as quickly. I definitely still think about that time often, and though it was so difficult to endure at the time, I am thankful for it. Not because I wanted to be apart from Matt (certainly not!!), but I appreciate that much more what the service members, their wives and families go through for our freedom. There are wives and families still enduring right now. Please remember to keep them, as well as our soldiers, in your prayers.

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