My nine days are officially over. Ranger Man is somewhere above the Pacific Ocean right now, on his way back to Super Secret Army Land, and I am trying to decompress and savor the time that we had, while I should be doing the substantial amount of reading that needs to be done for class tomorrow night.
I'm moved, much less space but it is my own, and I spent the first few days here with the most wonderful man, so it feels more like home now. I asked him to leave his toothpaste... because it tastes like him, and I managed to keep a couple more of his shirts this go 'round as well.
Nine days was definitely a learning process, and new record for us- maybe someday we'll be together for a double-digit number of days, but for now nine days was a great thing. We learned more about each other, and as much as it was apparent that life can never be idyllic, it was even more apparent that there will never be anyone that I want to come home to (or have come home to me) than him, and that no one will ever take better care of me than him. Which in turn means there isn't anyone I'd rather take care of...
I always think that it's going to get easier- the saying good-bye part. And it never does. Luckily for us, somehow we always manage to deal with things at different paces, so I was in tears all day yesterday and this afternoon, but by the time it hit Ranger Man this evening, I was pulled together enough to take care of business. As much as I realized over and over again that I really, really want to be with him all the time- not just here and there every once in a while, this trip reinforced for me that I am making the right decision.
I have no idea when I'm going to see him again- it may not be for another eight months. He might get deployed and come back again... and I won't see him before or after any of it. I'll admit that is something I feel really guilty about sometimes, like I'm being selfish for staying here while he could be off... well- you know. But he's right- I do need to finish this, and eight months isn't that long. We'll be really happy eight months from now... but in order for that to happen, I need to finish here first. That doesn't mean I need to go hog wild and stay here any longer than is absolutely necessary, but somehow he makes me feel less guilty about not being with him. For now anyways.