Saturday, September 24, 2011

Parris Island Cont.

A year ago today was my love's graduation. My Mom and I got to the base even earlier than the day before. I set up camp on the empty bleachers. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans will get a kick out of the fact that I made sure I had a towel, and it came in quite useful. It was dewy and insanely dark but warm. Mom went to get coffee and I drank it without really tasting it, then when it got light enough I read to pass the time. I wore a sundress paired with tennis shoes because I knew I'd need to run.

The ceremony was amazing, as was the band, but all that truly stuck with me was heart-pounding trembling impatience and overwhelming pride in my love and what he had accomplished. When they were released and the stampede started, I vaulted over the rope and sprinted out on to the parade deck as my Mom snapped some priceless photos. When I reached Andrew I slammed into him and knocked him back a bit into the Marine behind him. Then it was just a matter of some congratulations, introductions, and collecting Andrew's things.

I don't know that there's any way to relate what that day was like, driving off base with my fingers entwined with my love's, taking pictures in the old churchyard, having a great lunch that I hardly remember, repacking Andrew's things and seeing just how baggy his civvies were now. Getting a bit shy around our parents and him saying across the room "What are you doing all the way over there?" just when I needed to hear something like that.

The flight back to Seattle the next day was the most enjoyable plane ride of my life, and probably the most comfortable with Andrew as backrest and pillow. For once I wasn't anxious to get somewhere good, or sad to be leaving, I had him with me and the plane could have gone and landed anywhere and I probably wouldn't have minded a bit. His boot leave turned out to be pretty darn eventful, but I think I've told a bit of that story before...of how less than a week later I ended up with his ring on my finger, where it still sits proudly as I type this.

Every day since then I've only grown prouder and loved him more, even with him away. I look forward to the day I am once again waiting with my heart in my throat, then breaking into a sprint when I spot him and launching into his arms where I belong.

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