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They said he’d be back in December. But as it happens, we’re called to wait. Often.

Originaly, they said he’d be back in November, but that hadn’t happened. At the last minute, he’d been detained, called to do something else—only God knew what. She’d set that Thanksgiving table up right, taking care to have all of his favorites set out in their festive dishes. She’d seen a surprise homecoming video a time or two. Who hadn’t? They filled the internet at this time of year, reminding the world that there were still people who made sacrifices. Of course, she wasn’t one of those lucky ones.

And she’d eaten as much of that turkey as she could in the week following and then frozen the rest…along with the pies.

Last week, her mission included a rash of mad-cleaning. No kidding, even the dust on the light fixtures was gone. The other spouses called it nesting or preparation. She called it distraction. Either way, it had gotten her through another day.

Yesterday, her trip to the store had been more therapy than necessity, but she’d found a few things to add to the Christmas decor. Now their home felt like a Hallmark Christmas movie, fireplace and all. Big tree in the corner, all lit up with gifts under it. The Christmas quilt his grandmother gave them for their tenth anniversary hung over the back of her big, comfy chair.

She wasn’t really all that great at crafting and Pinteresting her home out to perfection, but there was something about his arrival this time, and the need to prepare felt dire. It was sitting in her chest…like a lump of coal. That sounded horrible, and she would never admit it to anyone else. But she just knew, until he was here, nothing would be right in the world.

With a sigh, she sat on the edge of the rocker and put her chin in her hand. The grandmother clock in the corner ticked the minutes off.

She could leave early, stop for a coffee…

But she’d also promised herself no more pity purchases this month—week, this week. It would be good if there were a few dollars left when he got home. She almost laughed, but remembered this was serious. “Stay serious, for crying out loud.” But the excitement got to her, and she grinned. She took a deep breath and inhaled the scent of cinnamon and pine.

Finally, her alarm went off to his ringtone, The Proof of Your Love. She got up and went to the switch on the wall next to the fireplace. She shut off the fireplace and picked up her tweed wool coat, slipping first one arm in and then the other. Inside one pocket, she jangled her keys; in the other, she felt for her pack of cards: ID, driver’s license, and debit card. Satisfied, she gave a quick nod. “All set,” she whispered to herself.

And the doorbell chimed.

Her watch read 8:15 p.m., time to go and meet him.

Making a quick detour to turn away her unexpected visitor, she opened the front door…

***

#cliffhangerhell #whathappensnext

Part of me is very sorry to leave you hanging, but when I got to the end, I didn’t really know how it was going to end. There are so many different versions to this story. Our lives as military spouses can’t be summed up in one Hallmark or Folgers commercial, no matter how nice they are.

The waiting stinks. We wait at government offices. We wait in doctor’s offices. In car line and on the phone. Our lives revolve around waiting…for something. But a couple times a year, our waiting involves the sweetest of preparations. We wait for him to come. We know his arrival isn’t just routine; it’s a sign of a love that lasts our entire life.

So, if you’re waiting this year, or you’ll be waiting next year, don’t forget to prepare for his coming. Make it special. Dig deep inside and figure out what that love means to you, and then share it. Or make babies, whichever seems like a good idea at the time.

Cuz, let’s be honest, I write romance novels. You can take a wild guess how my story ends. (Probably not that wild at all!) #tallhandsomepackagesforChristmas

Give it to me straight, peeps, what’s the longest thing you’ve ever waited for…aside from that homecoming?

I’ll add mine in the comments as well!

Author

2 Comments

  1. Beth

    I wait for apologies, on occasion. LOL 😀 I wait to give them sometimes, too. ha! <3

    I guess, aside from that, babies. 40 weeks ain't nobody's business.

    Reply
  2. Pamela Devereux

    I agree that waiting for your child to come into this world, takes some time. Waiting for a test result, which will take a week, felt like a lifetime. Your mind goes into, “What if” mode. Then when you get those results, the bottom drops out.

    Reply

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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

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