At the family homeschool dinner, one mom asked me how much longer it was going to be - meaning this deployment. Intently, I stared at her and said, above the tremendous din of 50 rambunctious children, "Right now, my husband is supposed to be sitting at an airfield in Afghanistan waiting for a plane that will bring him home."
Several other women smiled politely and said, "Great!" and "Wonderful!" One women, someone I don't really know, seemed more enthusiastic than the others. I suspect that she is or was military. My friend, the one who asked the question, scrunched her face and fought hard to avoid crying, and I, seeing her empathy, scrunched my face and fought hard to avoid crying. We both failed, and she got up and came over to hug me.
And I knew. Here is someone who has thought about me often and prayed for me often and felt my pain and is rejoicing with me now that the end is near. Here is a true friend. Not in action - that wasn't really practical in this particular instance, but that's okay. She, like so many of you who read this blog, has supported me spiritually these long months. And I am grateful to her, and to all of you. Thank you. I have felt your love. I have felt your prayers. Even on the hardest of days, I have not felt alone or abandoned or hopeless.
If all goes well, Bill will be home in about a week. And then a new journey begins. Reunions are difficult, and this one comes with an interstate move and a new, challenging job for my husband. I am counting on your continued prayers, dear friends. For now, though, let's just get this man home to me.