Friday, January 27, 2012

one year home

021

A year ago today I was standing in the drill hall unconsciously holding my breath and nearly passing out as the crowd around me shifted from foot to foot impatiently. I kept my eyes on Caleb so I’d be able to find him as soon as Unit was released, but then I completely lost him in the sea of people flooding toward the soldiers. I milled forward awkwardly, guiding Jackson by the hand with the rest of our family trailing behind. Someone finally spotted him “to the left, Jackie!” and we skirted several kids and slipped between two other reuniting families before I looked up and saw him a foot in front of me. We hugged briefly in the tight space. That awesome first kiss we’d schemed about for months? Didn’t happen. We laughed about it later, but at the time all I could think was ‘this is so not what I planned.’

And that’s been the story of the past year. Everything has taken me by surprise and nothing has happened like I planned. Deployment affects every marriage one way or the other. It either tears you apart, or it builds you together. We worked hard every day we were apart to turn a excruciating separation into an awesome thing, but I didn’t imagine it would make us as close as it did, nor that it would last forever. So thank goodness I’m not in charge and nothing has happened like I planned. Not in my wildest dreams could I have devised this life. 

*****

What we felt that day:

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