Around a month ago I received the best news in the world, my best friend had her baby girl! Today I checked my instagram on our way to church and my heart hurt, I teared up, and suddenly my day wasn’t the same. It was a picture of her husband, herself, and baby Rylan. It was adorable as always, yet with the long paragraph it told me today was the day that we were all waiting, yet dreading. Dakota got deployed.
Dakota is in the Army and was deployed today. No one knew this date except for Brittany, a rule by the Army. They knew it all along, yet I prayed everyday it wouldn’t be so soon. But even a year or five years from now would be too soon.
My friend, Brittany, and I met four years ago in beauty school, good old Vogue Beauty School. We were both starting out on our adventure that shortly turned into a friendship. They say you make your best friends later in life. I believe this is true! We finished school around the same time, took our practicals together, and finally our state boards. There’s not another person that I would have rather went on this adventure with.
Almost two years ago after my engagement we were out to dinner with our friends from school. We were all having fun until Britt told us the news. Dakota would be joining the Army, after it was a big dream of his. Not only would he be joining the Army, but they would get married in two months, then be moving to where ever he would be stationed. I remember I stopped eating and just wanted to melt in my chair and cry. She never knew at that moment that I was planning on asking her to be one of my bridesmaids. The distance and the thought of her moving away killed me.
Later, after she was married at the end of April, Dakota was off to boot camp by June. I remember all the times when I sat in her chair as she did my hair and I would hear all about the times that he would call or the times when she would get a letter from him. I loved listening to every story, but also knew she did a really great job at hiding how much she really did miss him. The stories of him running in all his gear during the hottest part of summer or the stories of how bad she felt that he had to wear the birth control glasses and they were probably sliding down his face. She always knows how to bring a little humor into a situation. After being married close to 5 months now, I can honestly say I have no idea how she did it. Dakota then moved from Oklahoma to Kansas, Brittany got to see him for the first time in 2 months with rare communication. I would try my best to keep in touch with her often, or drag her along with me to Seth soccer games. In October of last year Dakota graduated and they moved to Missouri where they currently live, while Dakota worked for an Army prison in Kansas.
I got the best news this past January that Brittany was pregnant! Everything in me just wanted to drive to her just to give her a hug, as they knew of Dakota’s deployment at this time.
In June Brittany pulled off the best surprise of having one of my coworkers put a fake name on my schedule, instead of Brittany’s. Let’s just say I was very surprised and it was a “pinch me moment” when I saw her walk into my work, and the water works came.
July came and went way too fast. My wedding came and went. Time when I last saw Brittany came and went. Although I wasn’t able to spend much time with Brittany I was so very thankful for her flying in to be apart of my day. I loved that she spent the night with me the night before my wedding, woke up and talked with me at 4:00am when the nerves were setting in, bought me starbucks aka…Rylan wanted some, but telling her goodbye made me cry all over again. I hate good byes, especially to my closest friends.
A month ago I wanted nothing less than to get into my car and drive to Missouri to meet miss Rylan. Today I want to run to Missouri to give Brittany the biggest hug, or that shoulder to lean on. It’s amazing to me how much time flies by, but these next months will feel the longest. I will never be able to relate, but I am so thankful for Dakota, and Brittany’s selflessness of letting him go. Thankful for Brittany’s sacrifice. Dakota’s sacrifice for both you and I. Words can not express my sadness and how much my heart hurts for such a close friend. The feeling of having your other half of you gone, spinning in circles trying to look for them. The moments when no one can say anything right or it turns into a blur. The moments when you now have to be everything to Rylan because she depends so much on you. The moments when Rylan’s first holidays will be spend with out her dad. The moments when I will take for granted of having my husband with me everyday. But most of all the moment when it no longer feels like a dream anymore, and you realize it is you reality.
This afternoon I traveled back home for church and lunch, I passed a ton of Army vehicles of every shape and size. I pictured Dakota being in one, maybe he wasn’t. But I prayed for him. I prayed for his safety, for Brittany’s husband, for Rylan’s Daddy. For all those men as they be heading out of the county away from their loved ones who said goodbye today. I prayed for this country, the crazy world we live in. I prayed that Jesus stays with Dakota and brings him home safe. Thank you Dakota for your service, and Brittany for your sacrifice! Thank you, thank you!!
As I read the instagram this morning and held back the water works, I text Brittany. I knew I would never have the right words to say, ever. But then her response said it all “It’s okay…having you as a friend is enough”. Then I cried.
I love you more, Britt