I have lost count the times I’ve gone to see my husband – to pick him up after a deployment or to see him at a port call. What I can always, always count on is the gut feeling I get. I get these butterflies. These butterflies are strong enough to pick my stomach up and flip it over but they are somehow light enough to flutter around their paper wings and give me a tickle that sends my breakfast on a fast track up my esophagus. My heart begins to pound as every second that passes while I’m behind the wheel knowing I am about to see my brave coastie. I’m checking my make up at any reflection just to recheck it 5 minutes later. You’d think I’d be one of those annoying high school girls who thrive on their looks.
September was the first time I got those butterflies. I was going to see him graduate bootcamp and he never looked more handsome. His jaw line never looked so squared but his 5 o’clock shadow at 11:00am never scratched more. I was intoxicated with pride. Then, before I knew it, I was picking him up from deployments every few months or catching him at a port call. I was drunk with fear. Almost a year later and those butterflies still work their magic and they have now become part of my routine of getting ready. When I’m done styling my hair, applying my winged eye liner, checking my constant low tire pressure, I take one deep breath in and I inhale the butterflies.
Maybe we still are in the “honeymoon” stage, maybe the distance does make the heart grow fonder, or maybe we are lucky. Whatever it is, both of us are happy to be in this bliss of love. I don’t know if he feels it (maybe he does, but that may just be the sea waves pushing and pulling him back and forth. Some people call it being “sea sick”!) but it’s a feeling I both love and hate. The only thing that makes these pesky butterflies go away is when he is finally in my sight. Once I see him the butterflies all gather around my heart and paper mache it. Every step he makes towards me, my heart grows and pounds harder. Then, when we finally embrace, my heart explodes with joy, sending those butterflies out like shards from a grenade.I can finally breathe knowing Christian is “Safe & Sound”. I can breathe without choking on air knowing he is back with me. I can breathe because I have my air back.
Listen to each other like it’s the last time you can hear. Laugh with each other like it’s the last time you’ll breathe. Love each other like they’ll be gone tomorrow.