October 21, 2010

Matt's visit, part four

As I knew it would, the time flew by and before we knew it, Matt and I were in our last days together. All in all, we were very pleased with the time frame the military gave us. Matt had 15 full days in Hungary, plus two travel days, both of which we were together most of the day, so it was really more like 17 days.

Matt chose the general dates he wanted for his R & R. He chose September-October because he wanted to come to Hungary when the weather was still nice. God was very good to us! We had beautiful weather, a bit on the cooler side, but still lovely, and hardly any rain.

Another blessing about the timing of Matt's deployment was that we were able to be together on his birthday on October 2nd. I was so excited because we had a little surprise planned for him. On his birthday, a Saturday, Jozsef and Csilla had a cookout at their home for the church congregation. Almost everyone came! A dear friend of mine, Agi, made a special birthday cake just for Matt. He had no idea! Matt was standing outside and the church members gathered around in a circle and sang "Happy Birthday" {in English} as Agi brought out the cake. It a huge sparkler in it that made for quite the presentation!

Matt said that this was his best birthday ever--one he would never forget. That makes me so happy. :) Matt also bought a special present for himself on his birthday--a dagger from World War I that was used by the Austro-Hungarian army.

Two days later, Matt's visit was over. I took Matt to the Budapest airport by train and we arrived quite early, so we were able to eat lunch together at the airport and wander around a bit, trying to stall the inevitable.

I cannot tell you how hard our goodbye was or how much my heart hurt (and continues to) because there are no words for it. This deployment is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

But I can't let this post become sad, because I have some video and photos of Matt's birthday surprise to share with you! And although we are apart again, facing our longest stretch of time, Matt and I had an incredible, unforgettable time together in Hungary. Sickness aside, it was even better than I imagined it would be. We will treasure those special memories forever--our time together in Hungary.

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