Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Bittersweet Day

A year ago today I was sitting alone in a downtown Albany MEPS station, waiting for FM to be cleared to depart.  My stomach was in a knot.  I had bags under my eyes from a duo of not sleeping and bouts of crying.  I was gearing up to make the final drive to the airport to watch FM board a plane to basic training.  As we sat there waiting for his transport, I was holding his hand with the tightest of white knuckled grips, unwilling to let go even for a minute, not wanting to face the inevitable.

As this is being posted, one year ago today at 12:30pm, I was saying my goodbyes.  FM was spending the last few minutes he had with me, outside of a Delta airlines gate, in a big bear hug.  Neither of us knowing if we would make it through the next six months.  Neither of us willing to admit that we might not. 

I left that airport with nothing.  FM was gone.  I had quit both of my jobs.  The apartment was no longer ours in five days.  I took the transport back to the parking lot, holding it together just long enough to make it to the quiet safety of my car, and I sobbed a good long, ugly sob.

I spent the next five days packing, cleaning, remembering.  And then I left.

I’m proud to say, today, 365 days later, that we made it through.  We aced basic training, we flew through AIT, we enjoyed a brief leave, and have powered through nearly seven months of our first overseas hardship tour.  We’ve gone from dating uncertainty to happily married, poor communicators to awesome articulators. 

Last year at this time, I was absolutely miserable.  This year, I’m so happy I could cry, and I did, for the first time in a very long time.

We have stared the challenge before us dead in the eye, and won.

This year has not been easy, but this year has been worth every single minute of struggle.

And I would not have it any other way.

FM, I’m proud of you, and always will be.  I could not understand and resented your decision to do this, but now I thank you for executing this choice, for shaking this up, for making this work.  I’m glad we fought for this! 

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