Today I did something that I have done a number of times before...I dropped G.I. Joe off at the airport.
That airport and I go way back. The last time I watched him go through security there this happened.
For many reasons today was different. I wasn't a newlywed sending her husband off to war knowing we wouldn't see each other for nine months, but still I was nervous when we got there. How he ended up with a round trip ticket to see his dad had been my idea because his Grandma has Alzheimer's and is not doing well. My Great-Grandmother died of Alzheimer's when G.I. Joe was in Iraq and I didn't go to her funeral. I will always regret that. Since we couldn't be sure if he would be able to go to her funeral or not (whenever that may be) I thought it was important for him to get in some quality father-son time. G.I. Joe hasn't been able to see his dad since he came home from Iraq in 2007. This trip surprised both of them and has brought me so much joy knowing how happy they are. And I wish I could be there to see the look of surprise when he shows up at his grandparents front door!
Pulling into the parking deck brought back a flood of memories. No, I take that back. The memories didn't wash over me. They pummeled me. Like a rock slide. The last time I left this same parking deck without him I was freezing, shaking, and had mascara running down my face. Naturally, people stared at me.
We got G.I. Joe checked in and to the security line. If I didn't want to pay for parking I had to get out of there soon. Like every other time he's left, my lip started to quiver. After a long hug and another movie worthy kiss I walked away from him. I cried but unlike the last time I walked away with my head held high. For the first time since we got married I felt like I was actually mature enough to be married and have a family. I wasn't the same terrified little girl who left that airport 3 years and 9 months ago.
That showed me not just how far I had come, but how far we've come as a couple. G.I. Joe and I were meant to walk through life together, come hell or high water. We've seen both. In our four years of marriage we have beaten more odds than most. Is it okay that I felt proud of us as I walked out of that airport? Right before G.I. Joe moved back home in March I posted this. I said that I wasn't sure if we had any great revelations during our time apart but I was wrong. Simply surviving those first 3 years was the biggest revelation of all: we can get through anything. We can conquer the world together, one airport terminal at a time.
While I'm missing my favorite Soldier to pieces, Lucy keeps me distracted. We've got lots of plans this week to keep us busy like Christmas present making and hanging out with my Mom and Dad. Last night we went out on a nice date to a fabulous restaurant. My parents watched Lucy for us then brought her up to meet us at this place that has a huge tree and fake snow every night. She was in awe! Moments like these are what I live for. That, and hearing G.I. Joe walk through the front door.