My best friend, Kelsey, and her husband Nathan were to be stationed in Hawaii in May of 2009, so they decided I needed to meet someone so when I came to visit them, so I wouldn’t be lonely. In January 2009 while Nathan was in Iraq, he told 3 different guys about me and only one showed interest. That man was Curtis Michael Swenson and he stole my heart in the first four hours we ever talked (but he didn’t know that at the time). We gained a relationship over the next couple of months and decided that we couldn’t wait to see each other in June. March rolled around and Curtis’s unit got back from Iraq, so Kelsey and I decided we had to go to Hawaii to see Nathan & Curtis.
I spent a week in Hawaii with him and knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man!!! I had never felt that way about anyone and loved spending what time I had with him. At the end of March, he took Post deployment leave and went home to Minnesota to visit his family, but 4 of those days he came and saw me in Indiana. We were still “friends” at this point and he didn’t really want to make the commitment with having one more deployment and all. The day he left Indiana he gave me the quickest hug ever and told me bye…..he didn’t talk to me the next day, so at this point I was really upset and had no idea what had happened. On April 4, 2009 I got a phone call from him asking if I would be his girlfriend! “REALLY?!” was all I could say to him. ( haha). But of course I accepted and couldn’t wait for his return in June!!
June finally rolled around and I went to Hawaii again and spent 3 of the most amazing weeks of my life with him. While there, everyone kept saying we should just get married and I should move out there, but I was in school and we didn’t think we were ready for marriage yet. The next few months went by and we webcammed, texted, called everyday and were going nuts without each other. One day, in August of 2009, we were webcamming and he said we should just get married and me move out here…I was more surprised then anything but this was what i had been waiting for since June . So that’s just what I did, I packed up, moved to Hawaii and on August 26th, I became Mrs. Katie Swenson.
He deployed November 19, 2009, We were in the parking lot with all our friends, giving the last kisses and hugs goodbye for the next 7 months. All my friends were scared to death and a couple were crying, but I told them everything was going to be fine. The last thing Curtis said to me that day was “See ya’ in 7 months.” So I had complete faith that come June 2010, we would all be together in the hangar, waiting for our husband’s arrival.
But little did I know…
April 2, 2010 I was going with a friend to get pedicures and watch “The Last Song”. Curtis’s sister texted me and asked what I was doing..so I replied “At Walmart”, and she asked if my mom was with me & I automatically knew something had happened to Curtis. At this point I was freaking out. I got to my friends truck and Curtis’s mom called me. She said Curtis was killed. It was the day after April fools day so in my mind I’m like “Please tell me this is a really really bad joke.” I finally got to my dad’s house and there were 2 marines waiting to give me the news that my husband would never be home again.
Curtis was the man I saw myself with forever. It’s crazy to me how you think you’ve found everything you ever wanted and it can just get taken away like that. I miss him more everyday and wish it was all a dream. Its been over a year since it happened and Im very proud of myself for how strong I have been & I hope he is just as proud!