The drive was very short. In just a few minutes, we were pulling up next to the entrance and I was dreading what I knew was coming. We both got out of the car. Cameron got all of his luggage out of the car and then hugged me and kissed me goodbye. I stood there and watched as he walked into the building and disappeared into the crowd. At this point, the tears were dry. I got back into the car and turned on the GPS. I made it back to his sister’s house in time to get a phone call from him checking to make sure that I had made it safely. It was quick because he had to board the plane. I lied in bed alone thinking about everything that had taken place over the past few months and all of the things that we had gone through. I cried myself to sleep feeling hopeless and incredibly lonely.
When I woke up a few hours later and went upstairs, I was greeted by our two nieces. The three-year-old wanted to know where her Uncle Cameron was and began asking questions as to why he left without me. I tried to explain it to her but had to leave the room for a moment before I completely lost my composure. When I came back, I told her that Cameron had to go back to California for more training and that the Marine Corps would not let me go with him so I was going to be living with my sister for a little while longer. To which she responded by telling me that Cameron would cry if I lived with Regan. Cameron called me as soon as his flight landed in California. He was safe, the flight went well but was a little bumpy when they were flying over the mountains, all of the usual questions were answered but what he told me next was very upsetting. He told me that while at MCT, he would not be allowed to use his phone for the first three out of the four weeks that he was there. The only thing that I had really taken comfort in was knowing that we would be able to at least talk to each other. Now that communication source was taken away. I tried to take it in stride and “keep being strong” like everyone is always telling me to do but it is just so hard. I wasn’t feeling very strong.
Driving back to Chanute that evening was pretty miserable. Every song on every radio station made me want to cry so I turned it off. I discovered the first time that he left that driving and crying are not a good combination…
I spent the evening hanging out with my sister but felt on edge the whole time like I could burst into tears at any given second so I avoided being with anyone else. The next morning at work, I was feeling a bit better but still very sad and my boss and coworkers were not quite sure what to do with me. I was just down. I was not grumpy or unpleasant but I am generally a joyful and cheerful person so my looking like I was going to cry was unusual.
The days dragged on and on as I tried to adjust to my husband’s absence. I will tell you right now that it is impossible to fully adjust to it but establishing routines and filling the days with activities really helps a lot. He was in my thoughts constantly (and still is!) and I had to just keep telling myself that this part of his training would only last for a month. I got through three months so surely I could get through one more.
Throughout the whole thing, I had to keep reminding myself that God was there and that he would help us to get through even on the toughest of sleepless nights. He did and continues to do so. When we are struggling, when we are down, when we feel like nothing is going right, God is always there and he is taking care of us. I like to think of it like this; God carries us when we do not have the strength to carry ourselves. When we feel strong, He is right there walking beside us and holding onto our hands guiding us in the right direction. Through His guidance He has taught me how to handle the hard situations in life much better. The verse that I go back to over and over again when I am feeling lonely, sad, anxious, scared, or when I am just missing my husband so much that it makes me feel sick is Isaiah 41:10 which says “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. That one verse is the one that I have gone to the most over the past five months that I have been away from my husband. It is so comforting to know that even when I feel completely alone, I am not and that God will always be there and will strengthen us and help us during our time of need. I have no reason to be afraid of what is to come in the future because God will not ever leave my side. He is my strength and my stronghold. To this day, I am still missing my husband like crazy and would give pretty much anything to be with him right now but I know that we will eventually get to live together again and that God will pull us through. Because He is just awesome like that.