My Phoenix Raven will be home tonight. I already have butterflies in my tummy and still have a few hours to go yet before I leave to go get him.
I haven't seen him in three weeks. That's not very long, comparatively, but a lot of stuff has happened since he left. It feels like a lifetime.
Some things have changed for the worse - deaths of family members, for example, but some things have changed for the better. Like my love for him. Being apart from someone you love can make you acutely aware of just how important they are to you; how you take for granted the daily interactions you have with them. I know from experience that we tend to idolize the people we love when we are separated from them; we put them on a pedestal and only remember the good things. Living with them again can be difficult because we are forced to see every aspect of their personality, not just the great stuff we love. However, after 15 years and many, many deployments, TDY's and missions, I've come to understand how reunions work.
They're hard work. It doesn't matter how long we've been apart for, whether it's days or over a year (did that once. That was REALLY sucky), reunions still require effort on both our parts.
So, I'm preparing myself. I talked to him this morning, and he's preparing himself. I've tried really hard not to buckle under pressure recently, but the cracks are starting to show and I have a horrible feeling that sometime over the next few days I'm going to have a meltdown. The best thing I can do is recognize it for what it is - a normal reaction to some pretty serious stress - and work through it when it happens. Urbaner is feeling the same way; he's had to swallow all the emotion he's felt about things that have happened in order to focus on the task at hand. Neither of us has been in a place where we could release the things we were feeling.
So, today is not only reunion day, it's the start of a healing process for both of us.