My eyes flitted open, my skin felt excited. I felt the chilly fall morning, even inside, and looked towards the window where the Fall sun was desperately trying to circumvent the shades. I smiled. What a beautiful morning! Across the house, my daughter was sleeping, and I could hear my in-laws stirring from their room. There were guests here, which always makes days more exciting.
I sat up, and opened my computer. I checked my email, saw some from him. And I smiled. I love waking up his emails. I meandered over to Facebook…
And I saw it.
A letter from the Colonel, posted on the unit page. “Redeployment Letter.” My heart started racing, and my fingers were shaking. I clicked…and it didn’t work. The link was defunct. Nineteen eager spouses posted the same underneath, and I knew I could only wait.
For the last eight months, I’ve waited. Waiting for the phone calls, the video chats, the emails. Waited for days to pass, for weeks to turn into months. Waited for Baby. Waited for R&R, the halfway point, and news about them coming home.
I could wait some more. I had to wait some more.
I didn’t want to be rude and keep checking my computer during their visit. I had emailed my Soldier, asking if he knew any information. His response email came back through:
They posted again. And I read it, in black and white. Christmas. He *could* be home by Christmas. My heart flew into my throat, tears poured from my eyes, and I couldn’t finish reading it out loud.
I remember last year. Christmas was a struggle for me. I did not want the Holidays tainted with the dread my stomach was feeling. I did not want us looking back on the precious little time we had left at that point, remembering how scared we were, how soon he was leaving. I made it through Christmas, able to ignore it. But, I was haunted constantly by reminders that he would not be home the next year.
And now this. There’s hope.
And so we wait some more. Wait for a final word. Wait for confirmation.
And I pray. That much sooner, he could see us again, be with his little buddy again. That much sooner, he could meet the darling baby he left with me. That much sooner…he could be part of our lives again.
And so begins our Advent. We will see if Christmas brings our Soldier home. Until then, I pray. And wait.