Last year, in the hours before being reunited with her husband, Sarah wrote me a post
expressing her feelings in those last hours of the deployment. I was only two weeks into my own deployment, and still hadn't found my deployment normalcy. Her excitement made me excited about all that I could expect when I, too, was approaching the finish line. It made me want to go through the hardships of the deployment so I could feel the highs, the excitement, the sense of pride and accomplishment that she was feeling.
And here I am, at that point I could only dream about all those months ago. And I am so excited. But I am thinking of you.
I think of you, Jenny, because you have accompanied me on this trip, almost the whole way. Since we “met” over nice months ago, hardly a day has gone by the we haven't been a part of each other's day. Being a military girlfriend presents challenges of its own, and I don't think I will ever be able to properly express how thankful I am to have you as a sister-in-arms. And somehow I feel incredibly guilty that after sharing so many deployment experiences with you, going through so many ups and downs, that I am able to welcome my soldier while you still have some weeks to go. I wish your soldier would come home now too, so that we could hold cyber-hands through this experience too.
So before I am reunited with my boyfriend I just wanted to give you a peek at the end of the deployment experience book.
In a few hours I will walk into the reception tent. And wait for my soldier to walk in, and catch sight of that sweet and shy smile of his. I am so excited about running up to him, and touching him. It seems so silly now, how I would put a finger onto my computer screen to “stroke” the image of his face sent over the webcam, but it was all I had then.
I can't wait to grab a hold of him, and squeeze...and not let go.
I can't wait to sit and watch him, and be reminded of all the tiny things I forgot about him. The wrinkles, the scars, the shape of his ears, the scent of in the crook of his neck. And “that” look...that smirk that just makes me dissolve me into giggles.
I can't wait to just be able to open my eyes, and see him in front of me. No more emailing, phoning, Skyping and IMing.
I can't wait to play the little games we play, like while sitting together on the sofa, turning to stare at the other's profile, but turning away, as soon as the other person turns to meet our gaze, and pretending we never even looked in the other's direction in the first place. Immature flirting techniques, but oh so much fun.
It seems so surreal to me that right now, my boyfriend is already in Germany. Even though I am excited to see him, there is also an element of nervousness. We have been apart longer than we had known each other before he deployed, and a part of me is afraid that my imagination went into overdrive this past year, and imagined a relationship that doesn't really exist. Attributed characteristics that were easy to assume when a relationship is only conducted through telephone lines and online chats. And now over the next few months will be the time of truth. And that fills me with a sense of trepidation. But another part of me knows that is ridiculous. Knows that this past year apart has done more for our relationship than would have been accomplished being together for the same amount of time.
So I am excited. I am excited at to see and feel how our relationship is now. Since he has been gone the dynamics of our relationship have completely changed. Our communication has improved. Our understanding in each other. Our trust in one another. And I can't wait to “road test” this “new and improved” physically present relationship.
And above all I am proud. I am proud of my soldier for making such a sacrifice and rarely complaining.
I am proud that I have gone through this past year of trials so that it is perfectly clear in my head, how much this man is worth to me. Perhaps I wouldn't have cherished his company as much, would he not have been removed from my daily life for a year.
I am proud and thankful for my good friends and my amazing family who rallied around me this year, making sure that I was never really alone.
I am proud that you and I, Jenny, made it through, albeit kicking and screaming and often complaining. No matter how difficult this past year, and how crappy it sometimes was, I will always be thankful, because I met you. Were it not for the deployment, I would never have met the amazing woman you are.
And I am excited to to gush to you about the minutiae of my reunion with my boyfriend, and look forward to hearing about yours.
So once again, Jenny...thank you for holding my hand.