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Because my husband has recently come home from deployment, I am taking a blogging break. Today I have Kris from “The New Normal” guest posting about her own homecoming! Hope you enjoy!
I’m so thrilled to be guest posting for Kathryn as she enjoys her well deserved Homecoming with her husband! Welcome home!!
Homecoming is such an incredible time, full of emotions and joy! My husband’s homecoming is still fresh in my memory, only having been about five months ago. It is hard to believe that it has already been that long since I welcomed him home from Iraq and finally felt that hole in my heart begin to fill again.
Thinking of Homecoming brings back a myriad of memories and emotions. First, the feelings of excitement as the date drew closer, but also the anxiety of not knowing exactly when it would be. Plans changed so frequently with date changes, flight times being rearranged and then of course the inevitable delay on the actual arrival day. At times it felt like we were living in limbo, not really knowing how to schedule our days because at any time hopefully we would receive the much anticipated phone call announcing their impending arrival. There was also the stress of wanting everything to be perfect when you were finally reunited. From hurrying to get the house clean to completing last minute projects, and of course the all important homecoming outfit chosen, the days leading up to Homecoming was an exciting, but stressful time.
Despite the excitement, stress and anxiety that can lead up to the actual Homecoming day, the day itself for me was one of the best memories I have ever experienced. I felt like I was walking on air and was a bundle of nerves as I walked into the hangar to await the arrival of the buses. The families gathered with their signs and balloons, sharing deployment survival stories as we all waited. And waited. Our soldiers’ flight was delayed over an hour and we were all beginning to get antsy! One wife was receiving text updates from her husband and would inform the rest of us as to their whereabouts, which only made the anticipation even more unbearable! The moment we finally saw the buses arrive outside the hangar is when I began to get nervous, with a hundred different thoughts running through my mind: “What if I can’t find him?” “What will he think when he sees me?” “How will I react when I see him?” “I think I’m going to cry!” My thoughts were only interrupted by the banging on the hangar door and then the deafening roar of the crowd as our soldiers marched in formation toward us. And I did cry. In fact I lost it completely! A few words were said and then we were finally released to be reunited with our soldiers. My memory at this point is pretty hazy, but I’m pretty sure I may have about trampled a few people in my haste to get to my husband! I wasn’t quite that bad, but after 10 months apart, I couldn’t reach his waiting arms quickly enough. And once I did, there was no one in that hangar but my husband and me.
Being back in his arms, the world felt right once again. Safe. Complete. It was all finally over and we had survived. We had not only survived, but we had thrived. The separation made our marriage stronger and our family more appreciative of the time we have together. Thinking about homecoming still gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes. The anticipation, the joy, the relief…it was definitely the prize at the end of a long deployment.
Kris is an Army National Guard wife and mom of two. She started her blog, The New “Normal”, when her husband left for deployment to Iraq last year. What began as a way to keep her husband connected to life at home has turned into so much more! From the support and friends that have been gained to the amazing opportunities that have come through blogging, it has been quite a journey! In addition to blogging, Kris is a 1st grade teacher, runner and wanna-be photographer.