The departure gate

Flying plane
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Walking through the departure gate with my then six month old daughter and my newly military husband, with my family standing, waving goodbye was the single most hardest thing I have ever had to do.

A little back story. I met my husband in 2011 after he walked into the pub I worked at in England. I noticed that he kept coming back to the pub I worked at and noticed it was mainly on the days I was working. After about a month, he asked me on a date. Honestly, I wasn’t really interested at the time and thought to myself (after having many failed relationships beforehand) that if he was genuinely interested in me and really wanted to date me then he will wait. We arranged to go out on a date but I cancelled. I honestly really didn’t know why I cancelled that date, I think I was scared of letting someone in and getting hurt again. Anyway, fast forward 6 months. Yes! 6 months. We finally we on a couple dates and the last date before he asked me to be his girlfriend resulted in him cooking a home made meal, which consisted of pasta ( now I know its about the only thing he knows how to cook and his favourite food). We spent the evening chatting about everything and anything. 3 am rolled around when he drove me home. We talked for a good 6ish hours that night and I left that night with a new boyfriend.

After only 7 months he asked me to marry him in January of 2012, I of course said yes. We got married in the September of that year and fell pregnant with out first daughter a couple months after our wedding. I had terrible morning sickness to which I had to quit my job at the time. After about 4 months of puking 100 times a day the morning sickness subsided and I was finally able to enjoy the rest of the pregnancy and go on to have a healthy baby girl. 3 months later we were pregnant with baby number 2. I know, crazy right!?

My husband is in the United States military so we were due to move to hawaii roughly 6 months after our daughter was born. Those 6 months went fast. I wasn’t ready to leave my family just yet. I had just given birth to my parents granddaughter, how could I take her away from them? How could I go to hawaii and live a life where my daughter and unborn baby won’t see their grandparents or extended family for god knows how long. I had a lot of mixed feelings. And then the day came. The day to leave, the day I would move away from everything I have known for the past 21 years. I’ve never lived anywhere else.

It was time. It was early in the morning, the taxi pulled up, we put all our suitcases in the boot and we headed off, my family in their car behind following us to the airport. I know, I’m lucky to have such a supportive family. My gut wrenching, holding in the tears, my heart telling me not to go and my mind telling me to just tell the taxi driver to stop. We arrive at the airport, get everything checked in, had breakfast and spent some time with my family. Even now 6 years later my heart races whenever I think about the next part.

My family taking it in turns saying goodbye to my daughter, holding her tight. I have never seen them cry the way they did that day. My god. My turn to say goodbye. I really could’ve just walked away with them but I made a commitment. I married my husband to share his life and his life involved moving around a lot. As we’re walking to security I’m telling myself to not look back. Looking back is the worst thing you can do. But I did. I wanted to run back, my heart has never ached the way it did that day. I cried, loud, I said “what are you doing, what are you doing, you can’t do this”. But I did.

I wiped away my tears, I walked onto that plane and although that was the hardest thing I have ever had to do I am so thankful that I had the strength to do it. My mum came to visit us every year in the summer no matter where we were in the world. My dad and his wife even came out to see us, and so did a couple of my friends. I am so thankful that they were able to come and experience a part of the life I was living. In a way I was proud to show them our world. I was proud to show them that part of my life. My children created a bond with our family through Skype that I never even imagined could be possible.

Being a military wife is hard, there’s sacrafises, compromises and a whole other life out there. I am fortunate that my children got to experience the things they did (even though they weren’t old enough to remember) I’m glad I was strong enough to give them a life I could only have dreamed of, if I hadn’t of committed. After hawaii we ended up in South dskota and then after South dakota we went to alaska for a year and now we’re back home in England. I will go into much more detail about our time in all of these places in my next blogs.

Hawaii

Photo taken by myself at The North Shore.

After 2 long flights, we made it to Hawaii. When I think about Hawaii I have visions of hula girls greeting us at the airport with leys (the flower necklaces you see people being given on TV) but that is far from the truth. Nothing is ever as it seems on the TV. It was, in fact my husband’s colleagues who greeted us and although there were no hula girls I was thankful that there were people there to help us with our luggage.

They took us to a hotel near the airport which was called Honolulu Airport Hotel. A funny story here, being British, myself and having an American Siri on my phone, we didn’t get along well. Whenever I asked her to give me directions back to Honolulu airport Hotel she would always reply with, “I don’t know a Honolulu APPLE hotel”. I wanted to throw her out the window so many times. Anyway, back to the story. I remember walking out of the airport and it being muggy and hot, It really wasn’t pleasant after being on a 10 hour and then another 6 hour flight. I was happy to get to the hotel room with air con and a shower.

Our first day consisted of my husband going into work and doing his In processing stuff and arranging some days off to allow for house hunting, and getting a rental car. Although leaving my family was hard this felt like I was on holiday. I had to keep remind myself that I won’t be going back home. Not to live, not for a while yet anyway. The morning sickness started hitting me hard yet again.

After a few days of house hunting we found a house we fell in love with. We moved in and everything seemed great. The veiw was breathtaking, the only downfall was that the landlady lived in the house beneath us, but it was hawaii and houses were flippin’ expensive. Despite the landlady living beneath us we got a pretty good deal. A few months went by and life was good, my mum came to visit us that summer as well as my best friend my dad and step mum and my other friend as well as my husbands mum dad and grandma. All at different times of course. We had a blast. My second daughter was born while my mum was visiting which was nice because she got to meet her new born granddaughter and spend a few weeks with her before she had to go back home. My daughter wasn’t due to be born for another 3 weeks but she came early and I’m so glad everything turned out that way and she got to meet her. That really was a special moment for us to share together.

We were settling into our house and things became “normal”, well that was until my husband would see the landlady pottering around doing the gardening every time my husband just so happened to chilling in his underware. The landladies brother had actually made a deal with her in the fact that she could live there rent free if she kept up with the gardening around the property. Now the contract stated that she was to give us 24 hours notice before coming anywhere on to our property. After a while, living above the landlady got to be too much. She let herself into our house without notification at one point and after my husband feeling like he was being stalked we decided to move and live on base.

Hawaii isn’t really what everyone would think it is. What do you think of when you think of hawaii? You think of resorts, palm trees, beautiful beaches everywhere. Well that’s not the case. It’s expensive, there are homeless people EVERYWHERE, there’s graffiti on almost every building and it took an hour to travel 15 minutes down the road during rush hour. We were on the island of Oahu which is the busiest island of them all and it wasn’t until you went to one of the resorts that you actually felt like you were in Hawaii. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the experience, but to liveā€¦ Never again.

Hawaii is beautiful though. I know I have mentioned a lot of the bad parts about Hawaii but we did have a good time. I think because Hawaii was the first place we went to as a newly married couple and parents to a 6 month old we were juggling our new marriage as well as a baby and that in itself is a lot. Me and my husband had only been together a year before we had gotten married so we were still learning things about each other and raising a baby and being pregnant at the same time. There was a lot going on in our life at that time, a lot of emotions, a lot of responsibility.

We got to experience going to a Luau which is an Hawaiian party/feast that has traditional Hawaiian dancing and their famous delicious food including my favorite Kalua pork. Yummy. We took everyone who visited us to a Luau and everyone enjoyed it. The views and things we got to see were incredible. I just wish my children were old enough to remember it because we really did have some special memories from Hawaii. I guess i was just so shocked at how different it actually was vs how I imagined it to be.

A little over 2 years of being there we fell pregnant with baby number 3. We were praying and praying for a boy but God had other plans and blessed us with a third baby girl. I had given birth in November and we were due to move onto our next assignment to South Dakota 2 months later. I thought the first year in Hawaii was hard. But that was nothing compared to the first 6 months in South Dakota.