I subscribe to a site called GodTube which is exactly like YouTube with the exception of its content 🙂
Sometime last week, a short video entitled “Soldiers Surprising Their Loved Ones” grabbed my attention but I couldn’t view it for some techy reason that remains unsolved. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t see it but didn’t think too much about it until a friend sent it to me via email. Again, couldn’t view it. Now I was a little more than bummed but this morning, I decided to solve the viewing dilemna and ~ voila! ~ success. Able to view it; able to have a good morning cry.
Though I’ve never been on the receiving end of a surprise military homecoming, I’ve been the wife standing on the tarmac waiting for the helicopter to land after 6 months of him being in places unknown to me. That feeling of seeing them after such a long separation is almost indescribable. As you’re approaching them, you feel euphoria and anxiety all wrapped up in a tidy military wife package. They change while they’re on deployment; physically and otherwise. Once, W came home with facial hair that caused Devon to cry out “Where’s my daddy?!”
And the families change, too. Children learn to rely on one parent and view the other as a letter or email penpal because 6 months or longer is too much for their tiny hearts to take in. Routines change and even reach a stage of “normalcy” during the service members absence… until they come home and you realize there’s nothing normal about being separated from the other half of you. I remember looking back and wondering how I did it and there are so many people who have endured so much much more than my family.
When I watch those videos of returning soldiers, I become emotional not only because of the happiness and my own memories of returning squadrons but because I vividly remember the good-byes. I remember packing a sleeping baby and a crying toddler back into the car and feeling so inadequate to handle the lifestyle that had been handed to me. I remember walking into an empty house, putting the kids down for naps and stealing a few moments alone to just sob in private. I remember marking days off on the calendar, waiting for letters, waiting for AOL dial up connections in hopes of an email, and waiting and waiting and waiting….
it’s not like a business trip, folks. It’s downright scary. SO when they come home it’s amazing. It’s like having a part of your soul reattached and your life resumed. It’s understanding what’s important in life and trying to hold on to that gratitude forever.
If you know a family member or neighbor who is home waiting on someone to return, maybe you could just thank them today for what they do. Maybe you could pray for their family and families just like them all across our nation. Pray that they get to experience the beauty of a homecoming like these….
found lengthier video on YouTube and easier to embed….enjoy!