This was originally written May 2007 and posted on MySpace. I actually had to reset my MySpace password to get to it, because it’s been years since I last logged. In May of 2007, Austin and I had not yet moved to Germany, so I was going to take a two week trip to spend some time with David. Austin was just a few months old. We didn’t have his passport yet, so he stayed with David’s mom. Leaving him was hard, but the time with my husband was amazing.
The time together is always amazing… even when there’s a goodbye coming…
David and I, Germany in June 2007
I got up this morning and drove to the airport to pay for my ticket. Delta won’t let you pay for a military discounted ticket without seeing your military ID. I guess, it makes sense for them but it was kind of a pain for me.
As I walked in and scanned the wall for the Delta sign, my steps slowed. My next breath was deep.
You can tell when someone has that sickening feeling of dread in their stomach.
There was a young girl standing near the ticket counter. Her arms crossed across her chest. I don’t know if she was cold, or if she was holding on to anything she could. My eyes followed hers, and there was a boy standing at the counter. I only say boy, because he looked so young with a shaved head– Truth is, he wasn’t a boy. He was a man, a soldier… Headed to who knows where.
He stood tall and proud in his uniform and even more tall and proud, when a Delta employee asked if he had family with him. He nodded towards the young girl and another woman who was now standing with her. The employee asked for their driver’s licenses and told them that they could get a pass to sit with him at the gate until his flight takes off. A sense of relief washed over them. Those last few minutes are precious, valuable minutes and they just got a few more.
I know I’ve had that look on my face. I’ve been to the airport too many times to say good bye. It’s so hard. And it leaves you with so many uncertain thoughts, and questions about the future. He’s off to fight for the world, and you’re left here to wait and wonder.
I’ve been to the airport for happy times too. And that’s a look that is undeniable too.
I was at the airport to see David only months after we met. I had my back to the clock, and asked every minute– what time is it? what time is it? I LOVE saying “Hello” again. I’ve been to the airport 8 months pregnant.
I’ve been there, with our 3 day old son in my arms.
Those are the times that make the good-byes worth it. Waiting at the terminal, searching through the crowds… Wondering if he made his flight, wondering if he’s walking as fast as you want him to… You gotta just sit back and breathe. And know that he’s walking as fast as his feet will let him.
This time– I get to go see him. I get to be the one that walks fast, and almost rudely pushes through the crowd. I get to be the one to walk up to him, and hug him, and tell him that I made it. I can’t wait.
But like always, with “hello again“, comes “good bye again” and that’s hard. I also get to be the one to leave this time. And I don’t know that I can do that.
But I will. cause I have to. Cause that’s what part of being an Army wife is. You endure. You stand tall and proud of your soldier. You say hello again as often as you can. You stand waiting and pushing through the crowd to get to that hug one second faster. But you also have to say a few goodbyes along the way.
To the young girl in the airport:
I wanted to speak to you. I wanted to tell you to stay strong. That he’d be home again. But you weren’t crying yet. And I didn’t want to make you cry. You’re both going to be ok. Believe in each other and have faith. Get through the days, and slowly the months will pass. Hug him so hard and so long. Hold on with all you have. And hold on just a few moments longer. God bless you.
God bless your soldier.
“Hello Again” will come. Just be patient.
(originally written May 2007, posted here in February 2011 as a reminder to hold on tighter.)