Thursday, April 29, 2010
This week marks Christopher's 4th anniversary of enlisting into and joining the Air Force. On April 26th, 2006, he signed his life away, shaved all of his thick curly hair off, and hopped on a plane to San Antonio to start his training.
At the time, I was completely lost without him. I didn't know how to live, without him being a text message away. I cried myself to sleep every night he was away in basic. I wrote him letter after letter after letter, 3 letters a day, to try to help pass my empty minutes. It was a desperate sort of love, but hopefully in that, Christopher saw how important he was to me.
In June, while 6 1/2 months pregnant, I packed up all of my things, said goodbye to my best friend, my family, my home- and started the biggest adventure of my life.
I stopped in Boise, 9 hours away from my parents house in Woodland Washington, and collected Christopher's mom, who had volunteered to be my copilot. Christopher didn't know she was coming. He barely knew I was coming, since I had planned the trip at the very last minute. Together, her and I drove across the country in my recently purchased Chevy Tracker, in the heat of an unfamiliar summer, passing real life cowboys at rest stops and avoiding near horror flick scenarios at the scariest of fly infested ghost town diners- and within a week, we made our way all the way down to Lackland Air Force Base, to celebrate Christopher's basic training graduation.
I was so excited to finally hit the X on our map. All of the heartburn, all of the frustration, all of the driving with my mother in law (you know I love you Nonie)- was all finally adding up to something. I'll never forget when my phone rang, just a few minutes after we had crossed the Texas border. I hadn't talked to him in weeks, I was aching to hear his voice, and here I was, telling him how close I was to seeing him.
After a long exhausting journey, a drawn out ceremony of everybody looking exactly the same, all dressed in blue, and hundreds of people marching around in big square formations- I ran from the bleachers to find and greet my airman.
And even though he wouldn't put his arms around me, or show me any kind of affection at all- I was happy to be there with him.
See, Christopher was a little, hmmm, how can I say this in the nicest possible way... big headed, when he first graduated. We've talked about it several times since then, and we can actually laugh about it now, but what it boils down to, is that he had never really achieved such a great accomplishment, and let his pride sort of eat him alive? Yeah, well he deserved it, so, I forgive him.
He wouldn't kiss me, or hug me, or even really talk to me, when we were in public. The entire time he was gone, I had been doing nothing but writing him letters, growing his baby, missing him, and planning on and then making the trip to be with him. So for him to kind of reject me... I went a little crazy, can you imagine?
But to be fair, I can see things from his point of view too. He was on a high horse. And rightfully so. To a certain extent. He had worked hard, and I was being much too needy. There was for sure an adjustment period for the two of us, but we got through it. And if we can get through that, we can get through anything.
Who wants to see more pictures??
Theres an entire stack more of pictures of us standing in front of random planes, a few more pictures of Christopher standing at attention, more bad angles and captures of my double chin (seriously, I gained so much weight when I was pregnant with Eleanore), but these were the pick of the litter.
We've come a long way in the last 4 years. And I hear we're in it for life.