Last weekend, Lloyd was able to get a 30 hour pass, so we were able to spend Easter and some much needed time together. We decided to get a change of scenery from Lawton and headed to OKC. We spent Saturday afternoon wandering in Bricktown and having fun along the canal walkway, enjoying burgers at a little jazz place, dreaming of the future at Bass Pro Shop (not that our dream is to work at Bass Pro Shop....it's fun to check out ATVs, boats, camping equipment, and firearms), and had dinner at Toby Keith's. Sunday morning we were able to go to a wonderful Easter service together and then have a really nice breakfast put together by the youth there. As is always the case though, the time was far too short, and it was hard for both of us when he had to go back to the barracks.
Last Thursday, we got news that has increased the urgency that we feel about our need to go to Arizona. The LES is still not unlocked for Lloyd to be able to request leave, but he has received word that it will be finally be open again on May 1. It takes a month for the leave approval process, so we are planning accordingly. Lloyd is very worried that they will deny his leave (they always do) and that this time he will not be able to get anyone in the chain of command to overturn that denial, and it is creating a LOT of additional stress for both of us. We will continue to pray and ask that all our prayin' peeps send them on up for us as well.
Finally, we got the official word yesterday afternoon from Uncle Sam about some class/paperwork stuff that we both need to do next month. It is a week long process that can only be done at Ft. Sill. This is going to mean another road trip to Oklahoma in a couple of weeks - only without it being any fun or time together. Lloyd will not be able to get off post during the time, so we will only be able to talk for a short time at lunch each day. (No privacy either since the rules require that he have a battle buddy with him at all times. So much for a real conversation.) Basically, it will be worse than it is now....knowing how close we are geographically but not having any more chance to spend time together than we do right now and still only being able to talk on the phone for a short time in the evenings.
As we are seeing progress at reaching the end of this time of trial, it seems like it is getting more and more challenging, and it is really taking its toll. We continue to thank God for all of the support that we have from the people He has put in our life.