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verklempt: [Yiddish]  overcome with emotion

This is how I felt last week as I read all of your comments for me.  Thank you so very much.  I was so crunched for time preparing for my trip to North Carolina that I wasn’t able to respond to all of you with a personal email.  But each and every comment was a comfort.  In fact I read them over and over, and I thank you for taking the time to write.

It seemed to be a theme for me last week.  At the airport on Wednesday morning, I was sprite and ready for my trip to North Carolina.  Ready to start house-hunting, thinking about life after the Army.  And some feet away, in their own little world, I saw them.  A familiar scene:  a wife with her head buried in her soldier’s chest – a final few moments together waiting for him to return to Iraq after R&R.  I watched her hold him tightly, him kiss her head reassuringly.  Of course, I started to cry a little.  When it was time to board, they said their goodbyes and he quickly put on his sunglasses to cover up his own tears. She sat in the waiting area even after he got on the plane, crying intermittently while she waited dutifully for the plane to leave.  I wanted so badly to reach out to her and tell her I’d be praying for her, but I didn’t want to invade her space. 

Eventually, it was time for me to board.  But I couldn’t leave her without telling her I cared.  So I walked over to her.  I was still five feet away when I started bawling.  "I just couldn’t board the plane without telling you I know how very difficult this is for you and I’ll be praying for you," I managed between fumbled sobs.  "I’ve done three deployments myself – two of them Iraq." She instantly jumped up and hugged me for a long while, telling me between her own sobs that this was their third deployment to Iraq.  At this point I wasn’t sure who was consoling whom.  But it felt like a family hug.  The kind where you feel understood and supported.  That is the sisterhood I will truly miss – a bond so strong that two complete strangers aren’t strangers at all, and something as simple as a long hug in an airport is just the dose of strength needed to get through the day’s worry.

Thank you again for your doses of strength last week.  I really needed them, and I’ll be paying it forward in the form of prayers for my "sister" from the airport.  

KBG - At least you were there to comfort her. And in the military we aren’t complete strangers, we are all bonded by living the very same life.
I hope that you enjoyed NC. Are you moving to RTP? I’ve spent many days in and around that area. I’m anxious to see how your house hunting went.

Lara - that’s such a beautiful, wonderful story. i think it’s good for you both, and i’ll be keeping her in my prayers, too.

stephanie - i have been surprised by my own reactions in similiar situations. my own short experience pales in comparison to some- but i got a taste and it was difficult. it allows me to empathize when someone says the word “deployment”. all those emotions- loneliness, sadness, fear, anxiety….but mostly loneliness come flooding back. i always wish they didn’t have to go thru all of it…and i feel overwhelming gratitude (and guilt) that i currently don’t have to….very difficult to explain- but you know what i mean. i’m anxious to hear about your house hunting trip :)

Christine - It could be the pregnancy hormones or it could just be that I know what it’s like to sit there and sob while your husband does his best to hide his own tears, only to take off the sunglasses because they’re dripping. Reading your story was so touching to me and of course, I cried. I’m lucky I had a few friends with me who were going through the same thing, I’m glad you were there to give some sort of solace to her pain. I’m sure your hug meant more to her than you’ll ever know.

Dorothy - Great story! I am so glad u hugged her I bet u helped her a little that day. Ya think u can come hug me when that day comes again? Ok I’ll take a virtual hug, I guess.
Can’t wait to hear about your house hunting adventure!

Shawn - Incredibly touching story. You’ve brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing this. Hope things went well for you in NC.

charlotte lyons - I’m crying all the way from the top down to this post…thinking of you and all this topsy turvy change and remembrance. take care. xoC