Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Always Fabulous: J-Vegas

Jacksonville, North Carolina.

I just got home a few hours ago from there and I'm in one hell of a funk.  I had a good trip.  It was so nice to be surrounded by the people who understand the most.  I finally got to see his best friends (I'll blog about homecoming as soon as I get the pictures), I got to meet Ashleigh and Rachel, and spend time with my friends.

I can't say I was bored because I always had something to do and it was nice to just be able to relax for the week.  I laughed which was good.  And I drank- a lot.  But that's okay.  I allowed myself because you know what?  It was a rough week.  I'm entitled to a few strong ones.

So today I had a meltdown in my car (this is the whole point of this post btw).  As I was driving away from the barracks, back through the main gate, and out onto the highway, I started to cry.  In that moment something hit me.  I felt like driving away was me leaving this part of my life behind.   Lejeune, Jacksonville, the Corps, the end of this deployment.  All of it.

See.  When the guys were still deployed, I felt like I could still cling to everything.  To not accept what had happened.  We just kept pushing through because all along the goal was to get to February.  Now that they are home, there is no running.  I see everyone's profile pictures changing to homecoming ones and how happy they are.  IT'S SO WEIRD.  Nothing has changed for me at all this past week.  I'm with me, myself, and I.  Driving away really is leaving it behind.  It's like closing a book.

Being in Jacksonville was hard.  Driving around seeing the places we had gone and all the reasons why I had ever gone to that town several times before.  I remembered where we sat in restaurants and our stupid humor that only the two of us would understand.  Even though I lived here, our life was there for the past 3.5 years.

I was driving to a friends house and I drove by the French Creek Ghetto.  I could see where we stood 2 years earlier and got the homecoming we wanted to have this time, too.  I could see you standing places.  I could feel you around me.

I like being there.  I like being close to your friends.  I like being close to other widows.  I like being close to my marine family.  Being there is constant reminders and even though some are painful, it's a comfort.  One that most people would never understand.

So when people start asking me why I make random trips to (what most people refer to as a shit hole town) Jacksonville, there is your answer.


  1. I went to my boy's unit's homecoming last May and everyone besides his mom who came too thought I was nuts. Literally EVERYone. I'm so glad someone else put it into the words that I never could so I don't feel crazy. I felt like it was easier when they were deployed because JT wasn't supposed to be here with me anyway. I needed homecoming to seal the deal for me, I guess.

    I'm trying to get up the courage to go back to Jacksonville soon. You might have helped me get there, so thank you for that.

  2. Chrissy, been wanting to give you that hug forever! I admire you for your strength and your will to keep Josh' memory alive. I thought of you and his family alot during homecoming. I am not always happy because I think of all the guy's that didn't come home and their families. It makes it bittersweet. You guys will always be in my thoughts and prayers. There will never be a day that goes by that I will not think of you and Josh and all the other people that have made the ultimate sacrifice. We will all always be here for you. No matter where. No matter what.
    Love, Amanda(Buie's sister)