The ceremony was short and sweet when they arrived home but in order to have a good seat we had to be there two hours early. The waiting nearly killed me, I swear. First I would be all impatient. Then I would realize how close he was to being in my arms again and I would get so excited. Then I would think about how he would be coming home with me and actually living with me and I would get so nervous I would feel sick. I was lucky though and had some amazing friends who came to support me. I probably would have hyperventilated without them there.
The moment that I saw him walk through that door was priceless. It felt like the whole room slowed and then there was only him. I couldn't stop staring (even though I could barely see him through all the tears leaking down my face.) In that moment I learned exactly what "swooning" was. I always thought it was a fake faint that is done only in books and movies. Nope. Girls, it is all real. My heart pounded, my legs turned to jello and even though I still never took my eyes off him, my two friends had to hold me up. I probably looked ridiculous and I couldn't have cared less. That was one of the most perfect moments in my life. Every fear and doubt that I had had over the past 12 months just washed away. I knew that life was going to be perfect now that he was home and I spent the rest of the time just wanting to run into his arms and then get him home. I nearly killed myself running down the bleachers in heels when they finally released him. (Btw, to you LDS folks out there, if you thought church ball was dangerous, you need to see what happens when a couple hundred soldiers come home from Afghanistan and they release them to their families. Mad house....and so beautiful.)
|The sign I made for him and hung on the side of our house!|
|I've never been so happy!|
Once the excitement dies down and real life settles itself comfortably over you, then out comes the demons. Now we by all means haven't gone through anything absolutely horrible. I've witnessed families dealing with a lot worse things than we have but these months has made me realize that no matter who someone is or what they do on their deployment, no one escapes unchanged. Not all are scarred or broken, but no one comes back the same person. And no one left behind stays the same either. Honestly, we had to get to know each other again. We had to start over. There were times it felt like we were roommates instead of husband and wife. There were times that I wondered who the man in my house was, wondered what kind of woman I was now. But through it all there was one thing that I never doubted. That was that he loved me with all his heart and I loved him just as much. Holding onto that was what keeps you going when times get rough. It's the seam of every relationship and I have never seen stronger love than the love of a military family. I have watched families completely crumble...and then through pure love of each other and themselves, they pull themselves back in and patch it up. Those are the marriages that will NEVER fall apart because they are stronger than ever before. It's the most humbling and warming thing you can ever witness.
We are still working to iron out all the kinks. We probably will be for all our lives. That's part of marriages period, isn't it? However, I know that we can do anything now. This was our challenge. We accepted...and we will win. Pure love is the only answer.
Keep L i/o ving.