I met my husband while working together with special needs children in November 2007, after he returned from his first deployment with his Army National Guard Unit. He moved to another city here in Alaska where he switched from Army Guard to Air Guard, but we kept in contact. December 26, 2008 we started dating. We spent the winters cuddled up watching movies or playing board games and the summers fishing and camping. He asked me to join him at a vocational school. We packed up and moved to Seward, AK to attend school. After completing school in 2011, we returned to my home town, Kenai. He began working for a local airline company and I became an Insurance Agent. We had gotten word that he could deploy towards the end of the year.
July 2011, he took me to my dads house sat us both down and told us he was going to marry me… in 2 months!! September 19, 2011 was the best day of my life. We had a little ceremony and flew his mother in from his village. It was her birthday. He spent the next 3 months going between our town and the base. Orders came in October that he would be set to active duty status effective 12/19/11, exactly 3 months after we got married. I put him on a plane early the morning of the 19th. I cried, held him tight and said goodbye knowing I wouldn’t see him for awhile. I got a phone call on 12/23/11 from the local airline he had worked for. They told me Cameron had sent me a present and it was at the counter. I took my time going over to the airport to pick it up. I walked in and fell to my knees. There he was!! His unit gave him 48 hours to see their family members and say goodbye. Second best day of my life! We spent 48 hours with my family. 12/24/11 once again, I found myself at the airport saying goodbye. He said it was going to be okay. Time would fly by and he would be home before i knew it. Then we could start our family.
He was right, time did fly by. We texted, emailed or FaceTimed every day. He happened to be on the night shift which was daytime here. April rolled around and we had just purchased our first home. This was a big deal. We were the first children in both our families to own a home. June was here and we were preparing for my little sisters wedding. I was able to FaceTime Cameron in before (gotta love how advanced technology has gotten).
I got word 7/1/12 that Cameron would be arriving HOME on 7/5!! I was so excited. I got that day and the rest of the week off so I could spend time with him.
I woke up the morning of July 5th. I packed and went to work for a half day. It was my one year anniversary at work. I was so excited for 2 great things in one day! 1 year completed at the office, and after what seemed like 6 long months, my love was coming home! I was on the phone with a client. 30 minutes until i was getting on an airplane to see my husband. During this phone call, I see 3 uniformed soldiers walk in front of the office windows and through the door. I didn’t think about it much at first. They were escorted back to the boss’ office. Then it dawned on me why they were there. I rushed off the phone and asked a co-worker what they wanted. He said to talk with me. I walked back to the office and was asked to shut the door and have a seat. I refused to sit down. I asked what they wanted. I was asked if I was Samantha Mixsooke and if I was married to SrA Raymond Mixsooke. I answered ‘yes’ slowly. I was then informed that I would not be picking him up in a couple hours. I was informed that he had made it stateside but had fallen from the hotel balcony that he had stayed at that night. I fell to my knees in shock. I kept saying “I am just a couple hours away from seeing him. How can this be?? I am only 23. I’m too young to be a widow. We have only been married 10 months” This was the worst thing that has happened to me. The second worse was when I had to notify his mother, whom he had not told he was deploying until after he was gone.
June 15, 2012 was the day my sister was married and Cameron had told me that this was the beginning for us and he couldn’t wait for us to start our family. July 15, 2012, 1 month later, my husband was buried.
The last thing he said to me was, “Sleep good baby. I will finally get to hold you tomorrow.” We did not have any children. Sometimes I am grateful for that and other times I wish we did so I could have that part of him with me forever. When we got married, he couldn’t afford the ring he wanted to get me. He and my sister had planned and picked out “the right” ring. He carried it in his pocket and showed it off to everybody for almost 2 months before his return. When he fell, guess what was in his pocket… the ring. When it was finally returned to me and I saw it for the first time, I sobbed. He truly loved me. It was beautiful!! it took him a long time to find exactly what he wanted me to have.
It has been 6 months now. I sit in this big empty house with my 2 dogs. I have joy knowing I will see him once again. I have learned life is precious and not to take it for granted. His favorite line for me was “You can sleep when you’re dead” and now I know why he said it. He lived every moment to the fullest and I am trying to do the same.
I love you, my sweet angel. Watch over me. I will see you again!