October 5, 2011 was an amazing day for our family. Homecoming. Its one word that brings a flood of emotions among hundreds of thousands. Its a time to reflect, its a time to be joyous, its a time to be thankful. Its also a time filled with anxiety, nervousness, and apprehension. While this wasn't our first homecoming it was our most special to date, it was the first deployment since we have had any of our three children. It was 7 months of three sons missing their daddy desperately and their mommy keeping it together the best that she could. It was 7 months of a wife being everything to her husband and a husband being everything to his wife while thousands of miles away. It was 7 months of a lot of tears for all of us, missing sleep, missing moments, and missing pieces to our hearts. My husband is the bravest man I know, he is the best father that I know, he is the greatest man I know. The proof of that...homecoming came around....my inlaws, my mother, my sister all came up to share in it...our three sons had counted down the days...and I had slept too many nights alone. And on that day...the hours slowed too slow, the weather dropped a few degrees too cold for a evening homecoming, and delays were being relayed via email...but nothing made that day any less perfect.
The trucks pulled up with the seabags and my three year old nearly jumped out of my arms thinking his daddy was one of those Marines offloading seabags. My six year old looking around with curious anticipation. My eight month old was looking overwhelmed. The emotions they were immense...excitement, anxiety, and pure joy knowing that my husband was right down the road, loading back onto a big charter bus to make his way to his family. My inlaws and my mom each had the responsibility of keeping up with one kid as I pushed through the crowd to find my husband, their daddy. I found him, he got off that bus and the pressure, the stress, the anxiety, everything melted away the instant I laid eyes on him. And our kids...the ones I left twenty feet away with experienced parents...two out of the three had broken free from their responsible party (and the third one probably would have had he not been eight months old) and bounded after me and nearly tackled their Daddy to the ground. They wrapped their arms around his neck and I also saw their fear, their worry, and their anxiety evaporate. The baby, well, he was a little unsure as was to be expected when daddy had deployed at only three weeks old.
We walked out of that bay, we came home and life instantly returned to normal. 12 years....12 years I have been in love with the same man...8 years I have been lucky enough to be married to him...and for 6 years we have had the family people only dream of. We have a love that is one in a million...one in a million. My family is the luckiest in the world...politics, deployments, thousands and thousands of miles, hardship duties, rough patches...they can't tear us apart. We haven't stood the test of time yet, but I know we can. I am in love...I am in love with my life, my husband, my kids, everything about it. And I am truly blessed!