I thought you all might be interested in Matt’s homecoming. I’ve written about deployments before and how hard the waiting can be. But nothing ever compares to the pure JOY of a military homecoming. Every homecoming for us, has been different. This one almost gave me a nervous breakdown. If you have any experience with the military then you know that time frames are always fluid. And you never get your hopes up because anything can happen.
Well I did exactly what I wasn’t supposed to do. We expected the ship home several days before Christmas but there was a natural disaster in the Pacific that held them up pushing their homecoming back five days. I know, five days seems like nothing but I had prepared myself for a certain day and the thought of anymore days tacked onto that was maddening and frustrating and crushing. Not to mention, everything was so up in the air they didn’t even know if they could meet that deadline. The ship was finally able to pull in on Christmas Eve, which was nothing short of a miracle, giving us the absolute best Christmas gift we could ever ask for, having Matt home.
Like every homecoming, there was some waiting involved. But I loved every moment. I loved chatting with the friends that I’ve been doing deployment with. The interesting thing about deployment is it helps to cultivate some of the best friendships I’ve ever had. Having people who get it, who are living it too, makes all the difference.
Once the ship had pulled in, I tried to really live in the moment and just enjoy it. Homecoming day.
When the sailors started leaving the ship, it was such a joyous feeling. The new dads were the first ones off and there seriously is nothing more precious then watching a sailor hold his new baby for the first time. Some of the babies were already four or five months old! I loved watching the pure joy in the reunion of those families. Then, the other sailors started to come down. I knew Matt would try to get off in the first bunch so I was right in the front ready to spot him from afar.
As soon as I saw him I ran right up to him.
Finally, our third deployment was done. 191 days over.
Really, the best day ever.
You may have noticed a little person missing from this reunion, Peighton! This deployment I was really involved with the FRG (family readiness group) so I had a major role in the planning of the ship’s homecoming. That required me to be there really early in the morning so we made the decision to leave our daughter at home with my mom. She got to watch the ship come into the bay, then she and Matt reunited at home. It was so sweet and the perfect homecoming for her!
So, that’s where I’ve been for the last two weeks, soaking up every moment of having my family together (!!!)
So, belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! I’m so happy to have you all here with me for another year! xo
Biggest thanks and photo credit to Kristina Elizabeth Photography.