Hi friends! It’s been a whirlwind of a time these past few weeks. I spent two wonderful weeks with Bri and am now adjusting back to life without him here in the States. Saying goodbye to him (again) was heart-wrenching, but I take solace in the fact that it will likely be the last time we say goodbye for a long time. On top of that, a beloved co-worker passed away this past Monday. It is going to be a few days before I get back to a normal (3x weekly) blogging/blog reading schedule. I hope you’ll stick around! In the meantime, I wanted to share the story of my and Bri’s reunion. Thank you to all of my wonderful guest posters- I really appreciate it 🙂
Bri was set to arrive around dinner time on Sunday. On Saturday afternoon, he called me from Germany. “It looks like I won’t be getting in until midnight tomorrow.” Dang it, I thought. Bri really wanted a nice burger for his first meal back in the States and we had plans to grab one at Circus Cafe in Saratoga. My mind reeled as I thought of burger options available at midnight. He hadn’t had a proper meal in seven months (from his description of the food over there, I truly think I would starve) and I wanted to make his arrival perfect! He was flying into Atlanta and then into Albany. He told me he would call me once he arrived in Atlanta in order to give me his flight info and all of that.
We hung up and I got into planner/list-maker mode. Technically I could pick up an awesome burger dinner for him around 10 PM on Sunday and keep it in the oven warm for him. My stepmom offered to make one of her delicious homemade burgers for us to be ready around midnight. Gotta love family 🙂 Anyway, I went to sleep on Saturday night, excited that it would be my last night sleeping without Brian for a few weeks and content with the plan for Sunday. All I had to do was shower, pretty myself up, bake Bri’s favorite cookies (Italian weddding cake) and maybe head to hot yoga.
Due to Bri’s anticipated late arrival, I slept in until a leisurely 10 AM. I do love me some sleep. I read the newspaper and took my time with my morning cup of coffee. My friend Jennifer called me around 10:30. “Is Brian’s flight all set? There is a huge storm in Atlanta and apparently they are canceling a ton of flights.” Uh no, definitely wasn’t paying attention to that. Shit. I jumped onto weather.com and saw the dire weather forecasts. What if Brian was stranded in Atlanta for days? Still, there was nothing I could do except wait to hear from him once he got to Atlanta. If you’re in the military, you kind of have to let go of your planner-like tendencies and just go with the flow.
I read at the kitchen table for another hour or so and got to work making Italian wedding cookies. I was mixing the batter with my little hand mixer when I heard my phone ring. I looked at the clock. 12:30. I looked at the number calling my phone. 518? Who is calling me from Albany? Tentatively, I picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Hi. I’m here!”
“Um, what? Who is this? Brian??!”
I knew it was him but my mind was failing to register it. How could he be in Albany? He was supposed to be calling me from Atlanta.
“Yeah, I’m sorry I didn’t call you from Atlanta. They canceled my later flight and I had to run to the gate to catch the last flight out. The plane had pulled away from the tarmac and air traffic control actually directed the plane back to the gate to let me on. Otherwise I would have been stuck in Atlanta until Wednesday at the earliest.” (Amazing, right?)
I think I asked him at least ten times if he was serious. Then excitement set in. Then panic. “Bri, I haven’t even showered! Your cookies aren’t done! I’m forty minutes away!!! Ah! Can I shower? Should I shower? I’ll just leave.” He laughed at my ridiculousness and told me to take my time. I was in and out of the shower in less than five minutes and out the door in less than ten. No time for contacts, no time for makeup, no time to blow dry my hair. I threw on my jeggings, uggs and a sweater. So much for planning a glamourous outfit 😉 My mixer still sat in the mixing dish with the batter.
As I sped down the highway, I could hardly contain myself. The tears started around exit 10. I couldn’t believe I was going to see my husband after seven long months! There were a ton of cops on the road. I laughed to myself thinking of what I would do if I got pulled over. I made it to the airport 42 minutes after I picked up the phone. Nice! As I walked through the parking lot, my heart was pounding. I was almost nervous in a sense. I walked through the airport doors with tears in my eyes. I scanned the baggage claim. No sign of him. Hmm, maybe he was upstairs getting coffee. I ran up to check. No dice. I went back downstairs. Maybe he was near the comfortable chairs over by check in. Nope. I turned around and headed back towards the baggage claim. I saw Brian, dressed in full military garb.* I couldn’t believe it- I thought he would be wearing civilian clothes! He smiled at me and I ran towards him and then jumped into his arms, sobbing. We stayed like that, hugging and crying (well, I think I was the one crying) for five minutes. There were people around us, but I didn’t care. I was finally reunited with my husband. Seven long months in the making.
*It turns out that a local veteran’s organization spotted Brian waiting for me in the baggage claim area and asked him to come sign their book in a private room they maintained at the airport, which is why I didn’t see him when he first entered.