Friday, August 13, 2010

The Beginning...

Everyone has a story, you do, she does, that person you smiled to at the grocery store today.
I am a daughter, sister, granddaughter, mother, girlfriend, aunt, BFF, worker bee and Business Owner.  I have some of the most amazing people in my life and wouldn't change it. I have an 8-3/4 year old daughter, who is sure to remind me that she's NOT just 8.  (I love how they want to grow and be older, don't you wish you could relive that time of your life again?) I am a new and proud homeowner, they forget to send instructions after you sign paperwork, WOW!
My Navy story is just beginning...  Chief and I were in band together back in High School, oh forever ago. Where do you think we reconnected?  YES!  Facebook. He had posted something about coming back to the midwest for the New Year, and to get in touch if interested in grabbing a beer. I had been couped up working on my house and needed a night out.  A night out sounded great.  So we exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up a couple days later.  I brought my girlfriends Sarah Squared (because yes, there were 2 of them!) along to the local dive up the street that I had previously hosted karaoke at for just over a decade. (Wow, does that word make me feel like I need wrinkle cream!)  There were other people out that sat with us throughout the night.  We all had great conversation, shared in shots together and well, had a great time. Chief and I were able to catch up on the past 14 years (13 of which he's been in the Navy), and enjoy the company of others.  I just am not sure why we waited until the night before he flew out to get together?  We stayed in touch here and there, as he is out to sea quite a bit. An email here, a text there.
Then I got a message one day, "please call me later, I need to talk to you"  Well how would any warm blooded human react?  I was caught off guard, worried he might not be ok. So I sent a text message, are you ok?  Yes he was just fine, but to please call when I had time. Being 5 hours ahead depending on Daylight Savings, I have to be very careful about calling. I call, we chat, he asks if I would come to visit in April. Of course, I would love to. In the back of my head thinking...holy crap, what am I saying? We talk about the particulars - schedules, flights, availability, my daughter, pets and home. Then he says, well, I want you here for THIS specific day. Oh. My Birthday?  Ummm.  Tell me what woman wouldn't love that.  Did I mention I would get to wear a gown and be on a wonderful mans arm?  Yes, the Submariner Ball. I have no idea what I am getting into, a. by going halfway across the world, b. being this mans date. I have been told by my girlfriend - he's a great catch, yep you're right he sure is, but...he's halfway across the world and I don't even know that he's interested!
I fly out, am nervous, excited, feeling like I am never going to make it there. When I arrive, he is waiting for me right out of the gate. That smile. Those eyes. I get the biggest hug ever. We check into the hotel and both freshened up since he'd been in class most of the day, and I on a flight. We ate at this tasty Japanese place, I had Sushi. Yum! I was hooked. We had a couple of drinks before calling it a night.
I woke up the next morning with him before he went to his final day of class and we said our goodbyes. What in the world am I going to do here? I made coffee and got ready for the day. Who wouldn't want to wake up with a great man, halfway across the world, to the sound of waves crashing against the shore on their birthday. I shopped for awhile and found myself a great place at the hotel to have a drink. Mmmm, MaiTai's, right off of the beach.  I can't wait for Chief to be done with his class, so we can share conversation and a drink before getting ready for the evenings festivities. The Ball was interesting, fun, and really I couldn't hear anything going on around me when we talked. He had promised to do the Thriller Dance at the Ball, so of course, it's my birthday and I am sure enough asking!  HE DID IT!  I loved it. Totally was the highlight of the evening. Well, besides getting my picture with the girl who had a Submarine piece IN her hair. After we left, we hit a couple of establishments, and headed back. The rest of the weekend we spent roaming the island together, taking in show and enjoying our time together.  I don't think either of us we ready to say goodbye.  Really the 1st of our goodbyes.  We promised to stay in touch and see each other after his forever long deployment.
I made it home after having such a great time, still on island time for weeks to come. We stayed in contact, as much as we could with his crazy schedule in from and out to sea and our difference in time. At one point there was an exchange about relationships and within a week we had made the decision that even though the next 7-8 months would be difficult, not to mention the obvious space between us, we were willing to make a go of it.  We've emailed, I've learned patience in regards to emailing. It's difficult to explain to friends and I love the friends that have helped make this easier. From the funny stories they share, the xcel spreadsheet of 180+ things to do during my daily countdown, to simply the company. 
And while I love nothing more than sending a note via email or snail just to brighten his day, I love to send packages and fun things for him.  I have never met someone like him, he's incredible in every way to me. His family here is phenomenal and I have gotten to know them and participated, even in his absense. It's comforting that while he's underway and even when he's not, I can get to know them and learn where he came from. 
I am looking to meet more MILS' and SO's as I write and read, and learn your stories.  I fell upon Wife of a Sailor and her blog and felt so ... at home. I am going to start participating in the Friday Fill in, and while there may be things I don't have the know on, I'll be honest and you'll know!

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