My alarm went off.  It was 4am Saturday, August 6th.  Even though I had gone to bed at 10pm the night before I couldn’t have slept more than a couple of hours.  Today was the day.  The one we had been counting towards since that morning we said goodbye in the parking lot of the armory, watching the bus drive off and wiping away tears.  It had finally arrived.  We had crossed off all of the days on the calendar, taken down all the ‘links’ on the paper chain, and eaten all of the ‘daddy’ kisses.  7 months I had gone without my husband.  7 months they had gone without their daddy.  200 days.

200 days we had operated as a family of four instead of five.  200 days I had been both woman and man of the house, acted as both mother and father, comforter and protector, friend and enforcer.  200 days we spent co-parenting via email, telephone calls, and the occasional skype.  200 days of good and bad, milestones and celebrations. 

At 4am I was literally shaking.  From excitement, nerves, and anticipation.  I had everything ready.  The house had been cleaned, the signs were hung,  and the children were dressed head to toe in their patriotic red, white, and blue.  I had found the perfect dress and my hair was done just right.  We were ready!

I drove our decorated car the 20 miles down to base,  although I don’t remeber actually driving, as if in a dream.  The children were antsy.  They knew today was the day their family would be whole again.  We arrived at the PAX terminal to find ourselves amongst 100 other families all full of the same excitement and anticipation.  We waited, we chatted, we moved outside and then…there is was.

As we watched the plane decend from the sky and onto the runway, the band began to play, and the crowd was cheering.  Moms, Dads,  Wives and Children holding their signs proudly.  This is what we had been waiting for.  This is what had gotten us through those 200 days and nights.  The plane touched down right in front of us and every emotion that I had experienced in the past 7 months washed over me.  I felt my eyes well up with tears, with joy and relief. They were HOME!  The door opened and one by one more than 100 Marines filed out of the plane and down the stairs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Responses to “Together Again!”

  • Discovered your blog through SITS & I am so glad I did!

    You have a beautiful family & I’m so glad that you have been reunited. As one military spouse to another, I know how hard the separations can be!

    Best,
    Kristina

  • What a beautiful family, and what a wonderful reunion! My fiance and I are preparing for our first deployment as a couple, and his third in six years. When I read posts like yours, I know that the waiting will be worth it, and that I’ll find the strength – as you put it, to be the woman and the man of the house – while he’s gone. Congratulations to you on making it through those 200 days, and thank you for sharing your experience through this post. I’m inspired!

  • Oh my Lord, I am just crying up a storm. I love the photos of your older daughter hugging her Daddy.

  • What a sweet sweet post. I was very touched by the pictures.

  • OH my goodness, so happy for you! I have a friend who is about to get her homecoming in a month and it is way exciting!

  • SUCH GREAT PICTURES!!! You have a beautiful family…so lucky to have your hero home!

    WM

  • Thanks Rachael for sharing your story. I’m bawling my eyes out after the first paragraph and having hard time reading it. I am so happy that your family is whole again. God bless you and your husband for the sacrifices that you make for our country.

  • Thank you so much Sheila! I am sorry you were unable to miss the Homecoming… I believe there will be more pictures posted to the 465 facebook page in the coming weeks! So happy they are all home safe. Thank you for doing a job that many could not do…be the MOTHER of a Marine. I don’t know if I could watch my little boy go off on deployment :)

  • Sheila:

    Welcome home HMH465. I saw your pictures posted on the website. My son came in on the same plane. God Bless all our men and women who serve and may God Bless the families waiting. Great story thank you for sharing. My husband is in one fo the pictures waving to my sone :) I was unable to make the home coming very happy to read the storeis and se the photos. You have a beautiful family.

  • I tried to capture the emotion of that day….”surreal” is exactly what it was. I hope that years from now even my littlest is able to read this and understand what a special day it was.

  • I tried reading that out loud but my voice got shaky at the point where you were driving. How surreal that must have been for all of you.

    So happy that you are together again. Beautiful photos and a wonderful reunion that your little ones will never forget.

    Enjoy every second and please tell him Thank You from my family.

  • Jill:

    Wow!! I’m crying too!! So happy for you Rachael!!! God Bless you and your precious family!!

  • Natalie Lane:

    I loved reading your blog that I happened to come across via FB. Even though I have never met you in person, I was very connected to you and your family through your words! You are a great writer and I really hope that we can meet someday. You are doing such a wonderful job with your kids being everything while your husband has been away. And what a homecoming for him! We should all be inspired by you. Take care and hugs! Natalie (and Christopher)

  • I seriously am bawling my eyes out right now!! I’m so happy for you and your family. Those pictures are priceless. So many emotions going on before and during a homecoming. So happy your husband made it home safe and sound and back to the arms of the family who has missed him so much.
    And now you get a MAJOR SPA DAY, right?? lol
    HUGS to you!!

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