My brother-in-law, Thomas, has been on a ship (I keep being corrected when I call it a boat) for the last 7 months. He’s been all over, but that was top secret. Cool, right? We were there for his homecoming, the most emotional event I’ve attended willingly since my own wedding. I’ll give it to you in photos. Ready? Okay!
Now, here is where I should explain why I found this so emotional. Everyone there was waiting on someone near and dear to them. Waiting to hug them after not having them for 7 MONTHS. I know this is kind of “duh” obvious, but I’m a visual person. When I hear about people serving in the military and being away from their family, I know I don’t fully “get” all that that entails. Now I somewhat do. If you have never been to a military homecoming, go to one. Even if you don’t know anyone arriving home. Except, maybe you can’t because of security reasons. Anyway. We all need a better appreciation of what it takes to live in a country like ours.
Yes, the people on the dock. Let me tell you, there were wives and girlfriends, dressed to the nines, waiting on their beloved. I want to cry sometimes when James leaves for work in the morning. Yeah, he’ll be back for dinner. Try 7 MONTHS, Hillary.
Ready for more emotion? How about the kids who had a parent on the ship? I saw a Mother and plenty of Fathers get off that boat. Here’s where I’ll really lay it on you. I saw a young Mother, standing on the dock, holding her infant child up in the air so her husband could see his child for the first time. Not kidding. This is when I’m standing there, on the dock, covered in sweat and crying. Really, I can’t handle emotions. I began blubbering. Coming up with all kinds of “what if” scenarios about husbands and fathers being away from home. “What if a mother had triplets and the husband was gone their first year? Or, what if a toddler didn’t recognize his father after being gone so long?” I blubbered on and on…
Following this, we were able to go on board and see where Thomas had been living for 7 months. This made me even more appreciative.
As you will see, we promptly made ourselves at home.
So that’s all, really. We spent the rest of the weekend catching up, all together.
To all the military Moms, Dads, Wives, Husbands, Sisters (I’m not listing anymore), this is me thanking you.