He’s home! Those words are the constant ringing in my ears and echo in my mind.
Still, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the concept. There he is, sitting on our couch, playing video games while I type away at the computer, just like I’ve been dreaming about for the last year, and it feels… surreal.
The teeth-chattering wait on Cottrell Field, along with the 30 minutes it took for us to actually find one another after they were finally released, seemed so insignificant once his arms were around me for the first time since R&R more than eight months ago.
To him, he says, this feels like an entirely different world, like hardly any time has passed at all since he was living in this routine. Of course, things did change. We live in an entirely different house (one that will take some time for me to get used to sharing with him after so much time on my own). I purchased a little car with much better gas mileage that he’d ever before seen. I added a couple of new pieces of furniture to our collection. And we are now the proud owners of a lime green coffee maker.
And while this past year, to him, was a completely separate world, it wasn’t to me. I felt each one of those days, and that hasn’t changed now that he’s home. He’s so different. Physically, he’s lost nearly 30 pounds, let his hair grow out a little longer on the top and wears different glasses. And although I keep watching for any signs of the infamous PTSD, he just seems more mature to me — more a man than the 16-year-old boy I seem to have preserved somewhere in my memory of him.
One year later, and we’ve made it. I have no illusions that everything will be the same, but ever the optimist, I expect they’ll be far better. He’s home, and there’s no two-week deadline on it this time around. He’s home, and I won’t be spending any more nights on the couch. He’s home, and I can’t get this goofy smile off of my face.
Have I mentioned my husband is home?