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But I can’t keep no secret, I wish that you would always stay…

“Freedom isn’t Free.”

Today I am thankful for:  Homecomings

As much as I love an excuse to put on a sparkly dress, do my hair and makeup and dance horribly, I’m not talking about school dances.  What I am talking about is ‘redeployment’.  That brilliant light at the end of the long and dark tunnel of a military deployment…

Just six short months ago I ecstatically welcomed my husband home from Afghanistan.  It was one of the greatest days.

Living through a deployment is not something you can really explain.  It’s not ‘normal’ to be away from your person.  Not for a week, not for a month, and surely not for almost a year.  Especially not when they’re “over there” – in harm’s way, in the unknown.  It’s like having your heart stomped on, then being handed a giant box of emotional chaos as a consolation prize.  One day you’re a strong, optimistic, proud, sunshine and rainbows super-woman; the next you’re dragging yourself out of bed an hour late and showing up to work in your pajamas, yesterday’s makeup (gasp!) and a messy bun (but not the cute kind) because you tossed and turned all night trying to find a comforting place in the bed where he once was, wondering why you haven’t heard from him in a week, obsessively checking your phone and emails… ‘sitting, wishing, waiting’, praying that you can somehow find the strength and sanity to hold it all together for one more day.  All the while feeling guilty for thinking you have it rough in comparison to what he’s going through, what he has chosen to do for US.  You’re reminded what an honor it is to know this man, who is willing to sacrifice everything good, everything comforting, everything he knows so that I can be safe, so that people in countries I can’t even pronounce can have some glimmer of hope for a better life.  How courageous, selfless, honorable and amazing are the men and women who defend our country, our families, our very breath.  Knowing that would make me so proud, but still, many times I felt so angry that we were apart.  I felt envious of ‘regular’ couples who could go to the movies, have Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by family, hang out with friends, play music and dance around the house, kiss each other goodnight each day.  I would start feeling sorry for myself and for us.  Then I realized, I have nothing to feel sorry about.  I have everything to be thankful for because I actually have something so incredible that’s worth missing.  To long for someone so out of reach and count down the days until you’re together, the anticipation that builds and builds… And then to actually see them again and smell them and touch them… it’s unreal.

Don’t take a single moment for granted.  If you love someone, tell them and show them every chance you get.  Appreciate every moment you spend with them.  Celebrate each time you see them with happiness and delight that they are in your life… even if their “homecoming” means running in after school or loosening their tie after a day at the office.  Cherish it.  Cherish them.

This is an awesome homecoming video (not ours)… I’ve watched this so many times, and it still gets to me.



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