I was up before my alarm. Trying to relax, remain calm, and get ready for what will go down as one of the greatest days of my life. It’s funny, I remember each “homecoming” date as if it were an anniversary or a birthday. To me, and I’m sure many other military wives, I guess they are. It is the day that we get to just breathe again.
You spend months of your life holding your breath, I think because it’s the only thing you really have control over. You carry the burden of parenting alone and the fears for the safe return of your husband. And it is suffocating.
In the months during a deployment it is as if you are living your life in slow motion and fast forward all at the same time. You want to cherish and experience the everyday lives of your children, celebrate their accomplishments, spend time enjoying the Holidays with your family, but you don’t do it as you normally would. That end date is forever in your mind and that is what you are truly looking forward to. From the very moment you say goodbye you are counting down to that day when he will be home, and you family will be whole again. That day when you can just breathe because you know it is over, at least for that moment, it is over. That one day, you will not be alone. That one day, you will have your best friend there with you. That one day, you will have happy excited children without a care in the world because their daddy is HOME! Yes, that day you can breathe.
When those wheels touch down, there is a rush of emotions, everything that you had been holding onto for those 7 months. As you watch and wait, you find yourself laughing and crying and finally breathing.