I knew that Jeremy was set to leave the Forward Operating Base he was stationed at in Afghanistan on June 30. It was the start of an 8-day journey through Europe to come home. As soon as I knew he had left the FOB, my heart relaxed. I knew he was on his way home; all I needed to do was keep me and the boys busy with fun things so that our minds and bodies would remain occupied.
Tuesday night, July 6, I was at my summer Bible study and we were praying for one another. I asked for prayer that I’d receive my phone call the next day, July 7. I was so worried that they (the FRG) lost my phone number or that somehow we’d get lost in the shuffle and they would forget to call me or worse, accidentally skip me! Silly stuff? Yeah, totally.
On Wednesday morning around 9:30 am, I got my call! All I remember was some guy saying, “…this is so-and-so from Rear-D calling with some great news for you Ma’am…” Jeremy’s group would be arriving at McChord Air Force Base at 4:50 am. I needed to be at the gym on Ft. Lewis by 4:45 am if I wanted to watch it land and see the guys get off the plane via live streaming video.
That Wednesday was a super fun day. I feel like I remember things in slow motion. I felt a big surge of relief when I hung up the phone. Lucky for me, it was super hot by Washington Standards. 96 degrees. My friends Shari and Crystal and all our kiddos trekked to the new splash park on post that day. It was so good to be occupied and sharing the excited and special moment with my friends. It was pure joy running through the splash park with the boys and just revel in the happiness I was feeling.
The whole time I was there my heart felt like it might float out of my chest. I wanted to cry and weird as it may sound, I wanted to sleep. But I knew I wouldn’t really be able to sleep if I tried. (I had been having a rough time sleeping since June 30th. For some reason my brain kicked into gear every night at 11:30 pm. Grrrr….)
Actually, I believe I told my friends that I felt a little like I needed to throw up. That sounds random but it is REALLY funny to Jeremy and I….it’s the same thing I said when he asked me to marry him. 😉
The morning went pretty quick. We did lunch, put the boys down for nap and then I frantically rushed around cleaning the house and baking a carrot cake for him. Everything felt rushed and slow that day somehow!
After the boys were in bed for the night (and a little early at that), I packed snacks and what I call “go bags” so that I wouldn’t have much to do at 3 am the next morning. I set my dress out; white with a blue sweater, red necklace and earrings and I tried to collect myself for sleep. I was actually pretty exhausted.
I was in bed by 10:00 pm and I actually fell asleep! When the alarm went off at 3 am, I must have jumped 20 feet in the air. I was so tired and yet so excited. I took a shower and got myself ready.
I was almost ready when I looked at the clock and realized it was a little past 4 am already! I freaked out a bit and realized I had better get the boys up quickly. I had already lost the time to give them a good breakfast. (Which ended up being fine because they were too tired and zoned out to eat!)
I went in to Cooper first….to be continued