We were all praying and hoping and this afternoon I started getting texts from my sister:
*Keep Praying, it's showing his flight arriving early.
*They let us thru!!
*Can't find him!
*Going to his departure gate. Britt running.
I couldn't figure out why his cell phone wasn't working. Still not sure why...unless his battery went dead without him realizing it. Whatever happened...none of us could reach him. There was a long silence from my sister, which I hoped meant that she had found him. And then...another text:
*Caught him just as he was boarding. Got a hug and then he left. Britt was bawling.
*Just hugged him over the barrier and he had to board. Got about 90 seconds with him. Still worth it.
For some reason, when I got the text that the airport was letting them through to see Ryan, I just completely lost it. I think it was just relief and happiness. I was driving and had to keep pulling over to read her texts. ha. I got a few dirty looks which I ignored.
You know...all week I knew that my sister and niece were going to try to see him. I knew the odds were stacked against them. Delta said no. But God.... I love how He cares about such things. He cared that some hearts needed to see His boy. I believe He removed objections and paved the way for my sister and niece to see Ryan. They almost missed him. But God...
Later, my sister sent a longer, more detailed text. Maybe it's overkill to post it but since this is my journal, I'm posting it anyway. hee!
*We went to the arrival gate but he was gone. searched the restaurants and stores and then looked up his departure info. Ran across to the other side of the airport... Ran. Britts hair flying, pushing people out of her way, tears falling, to his gate. Afraid we would miss him cuz it was so far. Got there as he was entering the tunnel. I saw the back of his head and yelled his name. He turned and saw me and I ran to him and tackle hugged him, looking for Britt also. She had run ahead and was searching the crowd for him. She saw me and shoved her way to us. Hugged him across the entrance thing. He told her not to cry...that he'd be ok. I gave him a card, hugged him again and the ticket guy told him he had to board the plane. He talked to Britt again for a min. and then he was gone.
I am still marveling that it worked out for them to see him. It's just like a big hug from God. I know that Ryan needs to go. I would never hold him back. But I didn't know it would be so hard. I truly cannot imagine how other military families see their loved ones off to Ir*q or Afgh*nistan. I am so thankful that Ryan is going to K*rea. I'm not sharing these emotional blogs for pity. I want to share what military families experience. All of my life, I have had a soft spot for those who serve, but I never had a clue what it was all about, or the sacrifices that were made. Now I am learning...and I am sharing it because I am guessing there are a lot of people just like me who want to know...who want to care...who want to thank a service person but don't have access or information. So whatever I learn, I will share.
One thing I have learned is that there is no advance planning for military families. Ryan didn't know his exact leave dates until two days before he came home. He bought a ticket the day before. ugh. And although we would love to try to make plans to have him home around Christmas, the reality is that we probably won't know until a few days before he arrives.
Annoying...but a fact of military life. I was sitting next to a Marine mom at the hair salon today and she said the same thing happens to them. You just can't make advance plans.