The phone rang. On the other side, was a soft-spoken voice. Once he finished his required greeting I informed him that I needed my household goods shipped from oversees to Montana instead of Florida. I would further explain my exciting situation to which he would reply, “I know I don’t know anything about you but you realize if this doesn’t work out you will have to ship your things back here on your own dime”. The conversation concluded with friendly pleasantries and I carried on with my day thinking about our new life in such a different place as Montana.
Six months later, I answered a call that my cousin had died. Afraid and sad I laid the wedding plans aside in snowy Montana and flew back home to Florida. Laying on my mothers couch, as I admired the huge diamond ring on my finger, I questioned what I was doing – who I was marrying and why I was marrying him more importantly. I knew this decision was too important to be uncertain of, immediately, I felt the courage to get back on the plane and tell him that I needed to put the wedding off until I was certain this was the right thing. I also sensed that I would soon discover why I felt uncertain…I just didn’t know how. When I told him he was furious. he got very angry and that’s when I knew there was more to this then I could see.
Flying home was a mixture of bitter and sweet as I wondered why all had happened the way it had among other racing thoughts. I even wondered if Antoine was still stationed at MacDill and what was happening with him. I remembered talking to him, before I left Florida, about the changes in his life, going through his divorce, and the decision of whether to remain active duty. I also remembered our conversation about paying for the goods to be shipped back; as those words echoed in my mind I couldn’t help but wonder what the future held for Xaviar and me back in my hometown. Life is hard when you transition from the military to the civilian world and there isn’t much support. I knew I was supposed to get out and focus on my son, I just wasn’t sure exactly what that looked like. The plan was to move in with my Grandma temporarily for mutual help, being my Grandfather had just died about a year earlier and finish school.
When the phone rang it led to an invitation to lunch at Bennigan’s. Phone calls seem to have a way in this story! He fell in love with my eyes apparently, the color of them. Twelve years, three children and lots of stories later we still joke about that date. It’s a good thing to remember what drew you to your spouse in the beginning. While Antoine and I have journeyed a long hard road, I am grateful that we choose to stick with it and I look forward to what each day brings as our marriage grows with each new twist and turn!