Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday, April 30

I'm starting our story from the day his deployment ended. These entries are composed from memory, my journal entries, and the notebook I used to log Jay's unusual behavior.

Finally The Weekend

I got Jay off to work today and then picked him up again at 11am. Everyone had been let go but had to be back later that afternoon. We decided to run to the BMV to transfer the title and register the Mustang. It was very crowded and instead of taking a number and taking a seat like we normally see, the line snaked around like at a bank. It was alot for Jay to take so he slipped out and waited for me to get closer to the front of the line.

It was finally our turn and all was going well. We signed what we needed to sign, their guy had gone to inspect our vehicle (since it was an out of state title), and just as we were getting ready to pay, the system in the ENTIRE state failed. We were so close. She had our license plate sitting on our paperwork. My debit card was out and almost in her hands. And then, bam. Nothing. We waited it out for about twenty minutes but gave up. She stapled our paperwork together and told me I could come back later. Argh.

The place was quite packed by then and as we were walking out a little old man in a little old truck pulled up to the door to check things out. I politely told him that he might want to come back another time since the computers were down. Jay recognized the emblem on the old man's hat. I didn't but I recognized the sticker on his truck window. He had the same Airborne symbol as the patch on my husband's uniform. Completely out of character, my husband reached out his hand and struck up a conversation with the man. They talked for a bit and discovered they were both from the 2-504. Don't ask me what all that entails because I don't know. But it was a sweet coincidence to run into this old man who had been one of those "Devils in Baggy Pants" back when the Devils actually jumped into combat. Jay isn't with the 82nd anymore but he went to Iraq with them. It was heart warming to see my husband attach himself to a stranger so quickly.

When we got to the car Jay expressed his irritation that he had forgotten to ask for the guy's number. He would have liked to take him out for coffee or lunch just to hear what the old man had to say. I told him that it might have been destiny that those two meet. I mean, after all, had the computers not gone down we would have been in and out of the BMV without ever running into the man. I said that maybe Jay was meant to be there at that particular moment in time to remind that vet how much he was still admired. (Days later I would begin to think that it was a little more than that.)

I drove Jay back to work and I headed out of town to pick up my daughter. Last year Jay re-enlisted so we could change duty stations so I could be closer to my two children from my past life. They are 11 and 15 and have friends and lives of their own in our home state. We have all come to the conclusion that it is easier on them to remain where they are and for me to just pick them up on weekends. My son rarely comes down as he is very attached to his dad and his dad's family as well as his friends. I have come to terms with this. I had him all to myself for 12 years and it's ok that now he wants to be with his dad more than me. I know he loves me and he knows I love him. As for my daughter, she is with me any minute we can get. It was especially difficult her not living with me all the time. But she can only go to school in one place so it's easier on her not to switch. So every Friday I make the hour and half drive to pick her up after school and then again on Sunday to take her back. I can't wait for the summer!

My daughter has been Jay's step-daughter since she was four. They are very attached to each other and she is a bright little light that just makes our whole house happy. On the way home I explained to her what Jay was going thru. I had confidence that she could handle it. She is very intuitive and knows how to put people at ease. I couldn't wait to get her home because I knew she had the power to really lift Jay up. I raced home after picking her up to find that he and his friend had just pulled up as well. Perfect timing. Thank God for his friends. They have helped him in Afghanistan while he was trying to ride out the deployment while battling his PTSD, they have helped get him home after work, and they have offered to help with anything they can.

He was so exhausted today. But he insisted on taking his friend out to the garage to show off his car. I have often second-guessed my decision to run out and blow our emergency fund on that car since he is unable to even drive it. But at times like this, when he is able to brag to his friends, I see that it was worth the expense. The insurance is costly too but it is a small price to pay for my husband to still feel like a man. Maybe he won't be able to drive it for a while. At least he knows it's his.

Again, Jay fought sleep all night. I had grown weary of following him outside to the garage every time he wanted to smoke so I gave in and decided he could smoke in the house. JUST until he gets better. Since my first apartment when I was 18 years old no one has been allowed to smoke in my home. This was a very big deal to let him light up on my couch. I hate the smell of cigarettes. But I am deathly afraid of Jay starting a fire since he often drifts off while smoking. I really had no choice if I wanted to maintain my own sanity.

We had a big weekend ahead of us and finally Jay gave in to sleep and drifted off sometime after midnight.

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