Well yesterday was another day that was sort of bittersweet.
November 11th, 2005 was the day Michael and I officially started dating... again.
We dated for about a month and a half the January before while Michael was home for Recruiter's Assistance in between MCI and MOS school. We were in love, but we knew it wouldn't work out. I was about to graduate high school and start college and he was going to California eventually. We knew it was just bad timing. So we broke things off. We started talking again that September. We would be on the phone every single night. We fell for each other all over again. It was maybe the 3rd day after we started talking again when Michael asked me to be his date to the Marine Corps Ball in November. I immediately said yes. I didn't think about the costs or what to expect, I just said yes because I knew it felt right. Michael always said that he didn't want to ask me to be his girl friend over the phone, because he felt like it was so important to ask me face to face. Even though, we would tell each other "I love you", I still wasn't his girl friend until I saw him.
November 10th, 2005, I flew into San Diego. He was there waiting for me at the air port and if you have ever flown into San Diego, you know that when you go into the baggage claim area, you have to come down a set of escalators. As I was coming down that escalator I saw Michael's beautiful smile and I knew right then and there, I couldn't live my life without him. When I got to him he gave me the biggest hug and kissed me. Well it turns out that Michael was so excited to see me, he completely forgot to ask me out! The next morning, we got up and we were getting ready for the drive to Las Vegas and I looked at him and said "Michael, you forgot to ask me something" so right there in his barracks room on San Mateo on Camp Pendleton, Michael asked me to be his girl friend.
Once we finally got to the hotel in Las Vegas were the ball was being held, we had to quickly start getting ready, or we would be late. Michael realized that we were given the wrong room, he had reserved a king sized room, and we had a queen sized room. So he went down stairs to straighten out the mix up. When he came back to the room, he told me to pack up because we were moving. We got moved to a pent house suite! I was so shocked. In order to get on the top floor, you had to have the room key to stick in the elevator. Once you were on the floor, you had to use your key to go through a golden gate to get into the hall way. The room was fabulous! It had a huge living room, kitchen, dining area, and the room we were staying in was huge with a comfortable bed you wanted to stay in all day. We really got luck.
The ball itself was really fun. We got to drink (mind you we were both 18 years old), we danced a lot. The first dance that we danced to was Elvis Presley's "Fools Rush In". It really was an amazing night.
It was so hard leaving him at the end of the weekend. I didn't want to go home. I knew from then on out, that my place was to be right next to him. We knew that we had this huge deployment right around the corner but we were confident that if we could make it through that one year of being apart, then we could make it through anything. We were able to sacrifice a year because we knew that we had the rest of our lives to be together. When Michael finally dropped me off at the airport, he called me when he was back in his car and he was crying and he told me that he didn't know how he was going to be able to tell me goodbye for a year.
November 11th was also the day that we held Michael's memorial Service at MCAS Miramar. I didn't realize that the day would have two meanings until my sister pointed out to me that it was the same day as our dating anniversary. There was no way around it, it had to be that day. We had to get Michael home.
That day tore me up. The memorial service was done so nicely. And all of our friends from Miramar and from my work were able to be there. A few of Michael's officers got up and talked about him. We found out a lot about Michael that he never knew himself. He never bragged about his job or what he was doing or what a good Marine he was. He never realized what a huge impact he had on others around him. His friends, his Marines got up and talked about him. The final roll call is what killed me. You always see it in movies, but you never think that it would be your husband's name they are calling out.
So yesterday was definitely bittersweet. I thought about him ever second of the day. It's not like I don't normally, but I thought about how we were when we first started out. What are hopes and dreams were. And now how all of that has changed. What I would give to have him back. The finality of it all is really starting to sink in and its unbearable.
Yesterday my dad and my sister came to visit. We went to the cemetery and stayed there and talked for a while. We went to a Barns and Noble (our first kiss was outside of a Barns and Noble) and while we were in there I heard "Fools Rush In" play. I knew it was Michael. I knew it was him. It may have just been a coincidence with timing, but I want to believe it was him.
I love you Michael. Thank you for making me the happiest girl. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for your service to our country. For your 5 1/2 years in the Marine Corps, I know you wanted more. But thank you. No star in the sky will burn longer than my love for you.