I was supposed to get a call from the FRG (family readiness group) approximately 48 hours before he landed. When I didn't get a call on Tuesday, I was sad since I figured that meant the earliest he would get home would be Friday. Then I got to talk to him on Wednesday (on instant messenger) and he let me know they would be getting home the next day. I can't tell you how awesome that was to hear!
Me: But wait. You're coming home tomorrow? I didn't get a "48 hour" call yesterday.
James: Looks like they dropped the ball on that then. I'm going to be home tomorrow.
My stomach kind of flipped. It was really happening! Then as I was still chatting with him, I got the phone call. "Your husband is coming home tomorrow!" Another flip of my stomach. They told me he was landing at 6:50pm. So that night I popped a melatonin pill and a half and tried to sleep.
I woke up super early- kind of like when you are a kid and you wake up excited on Christmas day. I got up around 8, ate breakfast, and then decided to do my make-up and hair. Then I got done and it was only 10:30am. After pacing the house for a while and regretting that I had already done my hair so I couldn't go running, I got another call from the FRG. Now he was landing at 2:20pm. It was about 11:20. Just about 3 hours! I put on my dress and was really nervous and started getting sweaty for some reason. James's aunt gave me some little towels to stick under my armpits so that my dress wouldn't get wet. I was specifically told to NOT show up any earlier than 2 hours before they land. I thought that was kind of funny. I guess maybe some excited Army wives might show up like 5 hours early if they don't say that.
Then a little after 12:30, my mom and I left my aunt's house for the hour drive to the base. I had my mix CD that my friend Sarah made for me playing and Mat Kearney's "Ships in the Night" came on. The part that says "I'm gonna find my way back to your side" almost made me start crying again. My hands were sweaty on the steering wheel.
Got to the location about half an hour before the plane was supposed to land. They were a couple people already there and they had Monster's Inc playing for the kids. So we waited. Through the rest of Monster's Inc, Tangled, and Toy Story. More and more people came in and there was about 10 kids that were having trouble staying occupied. We got notified that the plane landed around 3:20 (about an hour late) and then out-processing took about 2 hours. Then FINALLY, they let us know that they would come in, do a short formation, and then be released.
When I saw him walk in, I almost couldn't breath. My heart started beating really fast. Even though it was only a group of about 25 guys, they still made them line up for a prayer by the chaplain. Then a colonel did a short speech. I think it was something about how they are heroes (because of course, they are). But I wasn't really listening. I was trying really hard to just hold my composure.
Then I heard the words "you're released." And I got to hug my husband for the first time in 195 days.
|First hug in 195 days and the end of a 1 year deployment!|
Then I hugged him for a long time. I just kept thinking "this really isn't a dream!" I didn't cry right there like I thought I would, but I did cry later that night when he was sleeping next to me and it really sunk in. Out of relief and happiness. I'm just so glad he's home safe.
Now we're looking for a house to rent together and just enjoying each other's company. He bought a Nexus 7 as a redeployment gift for himself and is playing with it right now next to me. It's wonderful. :)