When Grant and I arrived in Iwakuni shortly after we got married, we made our home in the Bachelor Officer’s Quarters (the BOQ). Our time there was going to be short (7 weeks), so it wasn’t necessary for us to move into married housing.
It was late and I was jet-lagged when I first walked into what was going to be our short-term home. I didn’t say a word as I glanced around the apartment that had 3 months of dust build up and was filled with stark military furniture. I was trying in my head to think of some way I could make it homey, but I was failing miserably. I know it’s not the greatest,” I heard Grant say, “but it’s only seven weeks.” His voice had a tone of disappointment mixed with worry in it as he searched my face for a look of approval. “Grant, it’s just fine. It doesn’t matter to me at all, and it’s only seven weeks,” I heard myself saying though I knew my tone didn’t come out as cheery as I had tried to make it sound.
The next day Grant and I made a trip to the PX (military mall) to pick up a few things we needed. As we made our way over to the homegoods section to get some hangers, we passed a beautiful quilt that was on the end of an aisle. Grant saw me eye it and he asked, “Do you like that?” “Yes, it’s beautiful,” I replied. Then I pointed out how it would be silly to buy a quilt here since we had brand new bedding in the states. We walked away and after getting the hangers we began to head to the check-out. I was busy looking at things as we walked out and realized that Grant was no longer next to me. “Grant, where are you?” I said as I turned around to see him standing there – all six feet of him – and in his arms was the quilt. “Grant…you don’t need…” but my voice trailed off and I felt a few tears rise to the surface. He smiled at me and walked squarely to the cash register and purchased the quilt and the hangers.
Later on that day I put it on the bed and I was amazed at what a difference it made in the apartment. It made it homey. Grant came over and joined me in my adoration of it. “Grant, I didn’t need this quilt, I just want you to know,” I told him. “I know you didn’t,” he replied. “But in some ways you did need it GraceAnna. And that’s okay.”
I didn’t argue with him. I guess he knew me better than I knew myself. He was right, the quilt really helped me. It helped me feel at home in a far away place. Thank you, Grant.