September 18, 2004

09.18.2004

John and the Child are off for an afternoon of Dad/Daughter time. I had put a few DVDs on to watch and immediately lost interest in watching anything.

It is so wonderful having him home. I'm trying very hard not to think about when he has to go back.

He called from Dallas, hence the "OMG!" entry. I was secretly hoping that he was coming home on leave but had told him I wouldn't believe it until he called me from the US. He'd been evasive online, talking about packing and pretty precise about not being able to be in contact for a few days. He would call when he could, and he did, he just neglected to tell me he was calling from Kuwait.

I made arrangements to leave early from work and took the rest of the day off. I stopped at home to grab my camera and then went to get him balloons and flowers to welcome him home. I debated a lot about going to get the Child, but decided to just surprise her when she got home. I'd told her before she left for school that morning that I'd surprise her when she got home. I was just going to take her out to dinner or something to celebrate the first day of school.

I got to the airport a little early but was worried about how long it would take to go through security. There was no line at the airline desk so that shaved a bunch of time off right there. They printed up a ticket for me and off I went to security. Not one person in line if you can believe that! I wound my way through all the little posts and met the security guard. She told me that I couldn't go through security with the balloons. She was kind and offered to keep them for me to pick up later. I went down to the gate and realized that I had an hour to wait for him.

Eventually a few more wives showed up. You can tell us apart from regular airport people. We're the ones glancing out the window of the terminal every few seconds, hoping that for some reason the plane will just appear. Now. Right now! Once we saw the plane pull in I was ready. I was going to get a picture of John walking up the gangway towards me. I walked over, sort of staking out my spot towards the front of the group so I could get a picture. They finally opened the doors and there he was. I didn't have time to get a picture because I was too busy jumping up and down like a two year old. I grabbed him and gave him a huge bear hug and just cried. 299 days since I had his arms around me. 299 days since I'd seen his smile. 299 days since I'd gotten a kiss.

We were walking towards the baggage claim area when I realized I still had the camera on and in my hand. I took a step away and snapped a quick picture of him as we were walking. That is the picture I used on his "he is home" entry. We stopped at security and got the balloons. We stopped at baggage and his giant duffel bag finally came out. We walked to the car and I felt like the luckiest, most proud wife in the world. People smiled at us and little kids waved at him. I really felt like my heart was going to burst open I was so happy.

We got stuck in traffic but it gave us a chance to just talk and catch up on everything. We decided to stop at Safeway to pick up some things for dinner. Amazingly enough, we ran into my boss in the parking lot and she welcomed him home and told me she'd see me the following week some time. We got some snacks, some steaks, some good baking potatos, some beer, and some ice cream. We finally made our way on base and parked the car...

I wanted to get a picture of the Child seeing him for the first time in so long. In the end, I'm glad I didn't. It is a memory that will be with all of us. He walked in the door first and turned into the doorway leading into the living room where she was watching TV. He just said "Hey boo-bear" and she was up off the floor and quite literally lept into his arms. They both got a bit teary-eyed and when he put her down she gave me the biggest hug and said it was the greatest surprise ever.

He is here with us for now. I know where he is at all times and, if I wanted, could pick up my cell and just say "John" and it would call him. I can fall asleep every night, listening to him breathe and snore. I can wake up in the morning and smell that he's made coffee. I can come home from work and dinner is made. The Child and I really like that dinner part!!

He's called all his family. He'll go home to see the house after he returns for good and we get some answers about his retirement. He's working very hard right now to get briefings and such done so that we have a better chance of leaving here when we want to leave.

Life feels good right now. Yes, that will change again soon, but it won't be quite so hard as it was last November when I had to watch him walk away. A month. We can do another month standing on our heads at this point. It won't be 10. It won't be "who knows when I'll see him again" time. A month. What a nice Halloween present...don't you think?

Posted by rowEn at 12:49 PM | Comments (4)