Monday, June 3, 2013

Miranda's Homecoming Story

John is coming home from his year-long deployment to Afghanistan! It's really, really happening! In fact, by the time you read this, he may already be home! This week, I've got some of my wonderful blogging friends who are sharing their variations on the theme: homecoming.

I'll be back sometime during the week (or early next week) with pictures and at least one post about John's homecoming. Until then, I'll be off the grid, enjoying some much overdue time with my fiance.  

Enjoy my guest bloggers' stories! To see other posts in this series, click here.

Today's post is written by Miranda, a Marine wife who writes for her blog, Hurry Up & Wait

Military homecomings tend to carry with them a sort of stereotype. Girlfriend/Fiance’/wife/boyfriend/husband/children waiting outside or inside a building, watching service members walk off a bus, running up to them as soon as they see them, hugging them, kissing them, jumping into their arms crying. This is how I would have liked my husband’s homecoming to be but it wasn't like that at all. At the time, my Marine was just my fiancĂ© and he was stationed 1,500 miles away. While I would have loved to be able to fly down to California to be there when he got back, I had school and I didn't have any money to afford the trip. Not being able to be there for him with a big sign and welcoming arms tore me apart. I think it hurt him a little too whether or not he wants to admit it! 

This was his first deployment and it was very hard on our relationship. There were times where I didn't think I could keep doing it. I was afraid that he would come back a completely different person. We fought about stupid things, and I became selfish because I just wanted him home so we could get married and start a life together. By the time it was over I was even more afraid of seeing him again after 7 months, afraid of what it would be like, and afraid that the spark and chemistry would no longer be there. Jake returned home on February 18th, 2013, and I didn't get to see him until February 25th, 2013. Each day leading up to that I was checking my countdown app every day. I loved watching that number go down!

Those seven days were the absolute worst! I wanting nothing more than to hold him, hug him, and be there for him. On the 25th I picked him up from the airport and I remember being so nervous and antsy but excited to see him. When I saw him walking down the hallway to baggage claim I got butterflies and I feared my heart would beat right out of my chest. I scurried over to him, and the moment I felt his arms wrap around me I knew everything was going to be ok. Suddenly all the stupid arguments and time apart no longer mattered. He was home and he was safe. 

Not all homecomings happen in the way TV portrays them. Each one is unique and special in their own way. Mine wasn't how I would have liked it, but the feeling I had when I got to see my fiancé again was an indescribable emotion. What mattered the most to me was knowing that he was safe and that we would now have the opportunity to be together and be happy. Five days later, we got married, he left for California again while I finished school, and we are currently on our first week of living together.

For those who are new to deployments, just remember to stay strong. It's going to be hard for both of you but you have to hold it together for your service member as well as for yourself. Trust me, it will all be worth it in the end! My husband's deployment has been a great learning experience for us as a couple, and it showed us just how much we can go through together. Also, not every homecoming story is the same. Make it yours and make it as special as you can for it is a experience you will remember for the rest of your life and you will experience an emotion you don't get to experience very often! Make the most of your homecoming and enjoy it!