For those of you who don't know, I am currently in Hawaii with James. A quick break for the both of us to spend a few precious days together before he heads back out to finish his deployment. Getting out here was a fiasco in it's own right, but it's all been worth it, and we've had an amazing time - Though it was the actions of complete strangers tonight that has made this trip truly memorable.
I'm planning on going home in a few days, and tomorrow night we are going to have Derek (our roommate) hanging out with us. Taking advantage of our alone time, James and I decided to splurge and hit up a fancy hibachi restaurant in Waikiki as a final real date before we part ways again. As with most Hibachi restaurants we didn't have the table to ourselves, instead we shared the space with two older couples who were here for a cruise and a pair of guys who are stationed at the army base here on Oahu.
The conversation was slow, but friendly, and eventually as we all conversed we learned bits and pieces about each others lives. We talked about James' career in the Navy, about the boys across the table and their trips to Iraq. We learned that the older couples knew each other because the men had served in the Air Force together some 50 years ago.
Dinner was great - of course, and expensive. A nearly $80 blow to our checking account - but we could afford it and so neither of us flinched when the bill came - though unbelievably we didn't pay a thing because that wonderful couple next to us took our bill and insisted that they pay instead. Not only that but the other couple paid for the guys in the Army as well. It's hard to express how touched I was as the man took the ticket out of my hand and looking over at us said: "We can afford it, and you are out there doing so much more for us. Please, let us give back to you."
James and I were both shocked, and I was touched to the point of tears. These complete strangers, did something so overwhelmingly compassionate and kind. Not because they felt obligated but because they truly just appreciated the time and effort that James sacrifices. It is people like them that make all of this worth it. I will have seen James less than three months this entire year by the time he gets back in for awhile. I can't talk to him, or get e-mails, and most of the time i don't even know when he is coming home. But I can honestly say, that tonight, it hit me that I'm doing this for people like that couple next to us. I can only hope that there are more people out there who appreciate and understand the sacrifices that James makes, and the strength it takes to hold a marriage and a family together when you spend most of your time apart. We are truly blessed to have met such wonderful people, and it is their simple actions that will impact me most when I think back on this amazing experience.
the kids aren't fine
8 years ago