Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Post Germany

I remember the flight home from Germany. I shared a row with Jalfred's older brother. I was thankful to be on a flight and not be by myself. I kept thinking about how I am by myself now...I'm alone. Without my bestfriend. I am alone now. ALONE. Those words rang in my head. Yes, I have family and friends...but I don't have the one person who meant everything to me. I shared everything with Jalfred. He knew me deeply, more than anyone has ever known me, and more than anyone ever will. We experienced so much together. Just him and I. It was always us, I was realizing now it's only me. Alone.

Again, I don't have much memory from the plane ride back. I remember getting off the plane with the media recording me. They asked me for an interview and I agreed. I wanted people to know Jalfred's story. He's not just another soldier, he was my baby. I felt at that point he had died for no purpose, no reason. I had to make his death known to people on a personal level. I wanted them to see his face. To know the sacrifice he made.

I remember that two of my best friends came over to my house nearly everyday. They literally cuddled with me, brought me food, let me cry, made me silly things to cheer me up, and watched TV shows with me...all day. I couldn't stand to watch anything on tv that was too happy or too sad...so we laid together all day just watching Jerry Springer, Maury, Cheaters, Life Changers, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Atlanta. It really didn't feel real. It didn't hit me. It was all so...I can't even describe it. He was still alive to me.

It was something like a week or so until his body was returning to the United States. I knew that going to Dover was going to be difficult. To see his casket. I was welcoming my hunny home...in a box. Not the way I had always dreamed about. I always fantasized about how I would welcome him home at the airport. I imagined holding the 6foot sign I had made for Jalfred that read "Welcome home Hunny Bear! We love you Jalfred Vaquerano!" I imagined his family and friends cheering him on. I imagined running into his arms and giving him the biggest hug and kiss ever. It was so perfect and magical in my mind. But no. I was never going to welcome him home this way. I had to face that. I had to welcome him home off a plane, in a casket. The term casket made it more real whenever someone said it. I hate that word.

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