Monday, October 27, 2008


On March 13, 2008 the love of my life left me. Ok, so it’s not as soap opera-ey as it sounds. My husband had to get on a plane and fly to the other side of the world AGAIN. He was deploying to Iraq for tour number three. THREE! This was deployment number four since 2003 but one of those was to Japan which was great for him, hard for me. Anywhoooo, after being told he’d be home mid-September and then, nope, not till after October 1st, well, maybe the 10th, no, the 15th…well how bout the 20th? No, the 21st…he finally came home. Oh, did I mention in previous posts that I hate not knowing what’s going on? I know this is God’s way of letting me know He’s in control but I’m still the type of girl who has an obsession with calendars and dayplanners and knowing what’s going on when, in color coordination, please.

Usually homecoming involves a homecoming brief for all of the spouses going over when they’re getting back, what to expect as far as PTSD, strange habits like preferring to sleep on the hard floor over the soft mattress, not controlling their ‘boy’ tendencies since they’ve been around ‘boys’ for so long (i.e. not using their manners when it comes to body functions…ahem), and a fear of crowds. They also talk about what NOT to wear. Don’t dress like a stripper, save that for home. Make sure your skirt is long enough so that when you go to hug him, it doesn’t ride up and show the world what’s going on underneath. No trench coats: we all know what’s under there…or not. Things like that. Well, this was my fourth homecoming and he was coming home without the rest of his unit which is staying until January so I didn’t attend a briefing. I wasn’t part of a huge crowd of wives and kids dressed in their best awaiting the big white bus. I actually got elite treatment and was able to drive up to March to pick my husband up. The rest of the guys on his plane were actually headed to a different base and he just happened to hitch a ride on their flight. The kids and I got to watch Bill actually depart the plane and walk down to the tarmac. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of that. I was clearly warned that if I was caught taking photos (since it’s a government airstrip or something like that) they would confiscate my camera. Didn’t they know I needed to scrapbook this momentous occasion? We were so excited to see him, and amazingly, I could pick him out of the sea of desert cammie tan boys walking down the steps of the plane. He motioned that he needed to go through processing on the other side and as I got ready to walk over there, I noticed Trey was lagging behind. He was crying! “What’s the matter, Trey? Why are you crying?”
“I’m just so happy daddy’s home!”
Wow, my seven year old is crying tears of joy!

It took a while before he could actually depart the iron bars and Marines holding everyone back from where a handful of us were waiting.
When he finally came out, my kids had run to the other side of the parking lot, too overwhelmed to deal with their emotions. That was the best hug I’d had in seven months.
It’s amazing to see your best friend again after such a long separation. I finally coerced the kids out of hiding. Leah didn’t say anything but squeezed her daddy as tight as she could all the while showing a huge smile on her face.
Trey was a little more apprehensive, but once he came over he made all kinds of noise and gave his dad a huge embrace.

We were finally a family of four again.

It’s become tradition that I bring Bill and ice cold beer when he returns home. Spending seven months in an Islamic country means no alcohol so a cold beer is heaven to most guys returning.

After we said our hellos and thank yous and shook a few hands of other Marines,

we headed down to Temecula for some lunch. The kids and I went in first while Bill stayed in the car to change into civilian clothes. The waiter came by and clarified that we had another joining us. I explained that my husband just returned from Iraq and was changing out of his cammies. The waiter responded with, “oh good, because we don’t allow anyone with cammies in the restaurant.” He was joking, of course, but it’s against strict rules for Marines to wear their camouflage into any civilian arenas. Once we were done with our meal, our waiter came over and thanked Bill for his sacrifice and service to our country and comped his meal! That’s something we never get at home. Just being in the next county made a world of difference. I guess it’s a little hard to be overly thankful for someone’s service when you’re living next to one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the country. We get royal treatment everywhere but at home.

Once we got home, Bill found his welcome home sign that I’d worked on for about a week. It’s tradition to have a sign waiting for him. This one was definitely my biggest work of art.

Now, we’re just enjoying being a family again. I’m loving that I have my partner back, my help mate, my best friend. The kids love having two parents and a mom who is a lot less stressed out. Thank God he made it home safely and we’re back together, like peas and carrots.


Andrea said...

Thank you for the tears of joy!! I'm so glad he's home, just in time for the holidays. Love the pics too. How in the world did you make that welcome home sign? It's fabulous!! Love you guys!!

Judy said...

AWESOME sign and AMAZING post...thanks for sharing that incredible moment with us!

Jumpin' On My Last Nerve said...

Woohoo! Welcome home cousin! Jennie - that sign is awesome! Glad you guys are a fabulous foursome again.

Krista said...

Excuse the tear drops, I am totally crying right now and the kids are a little scared. I am so glad Bill is home safely. I love they Trey cried tears of joy, that little boy loves his Daddy!Beautiful! You can tell there is a lot of love in your family, thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. I have to go explain why I am crying to the kids now!

Jenna said...

So I finally made it to your blog :) and this post was amazing. Thank you for sharing. I was totally tearing up while reading it. Great pictures and amazing sign!!! :) Love ya! ~ Jenna