After a year of work and worries, Weymouth nurse has just hours left to wait for husband’s return home from Iraq.


 

From the moment her husband, Massachusetts National Guard 1st Sgt. Richard Sheehan, left for Iraq one year ago, time would alternately fly and drag, depending how busy Solveig Sheehan happened to be.


Of course, many of the moments that found her at her busiest were spent in her own service to the Guard.


As the head of the family readiness group for Delta Company, 1st Battalion of the 181st Infantry Regiment of the Massachusetts National Guard, she was a listening ear for moms, dads, husbands and wives, and sometimes a children’s party planner.


She did it all while working full time as an intensive-care nurse, nearly single-handedly renovating the couple’s home, and worrying about Richard’s safety.


She took it day by day, but now, it seems, there’s just one day left.


Richard’s return to Massachusetts is imminent.


After being with Richard for 12 of his 21 years in the Guard and experiencing two previous separations – he served in Cuba and Bosnia – Solveig has learned that the military works on its own schedule, and she tried to temper her excitement about his expected late-April/early May return.


But as of Thursday, she had every reason to believe that Richard’s company will be reunited with anxious and relieved family members and friends early Saturday morning in Hudson.


The Sheehans have kept in touch through e-mails and too-brief phone calls..


“It’s one thing to hear his voice,” Solveig said on one occasion, “but to see his face and be able to put my hands on him, to see he’s all in one piece, a big burden will be lifted.”


Relief seems to be just hours away.


Karen Goulart may be reached at kgoulart@ledger.com.