Saturday, November 21, 2009
Celebrate Me Home
Even though J's homecoming is still a couple of weeks away, a yellow ribbon is now tied to the tree in our front yard. It's far from being a mighty oak--in fact, it just got its "training wheels" taken off by the landscapers this past summer. But what it symbolizes is striking: we have a loved one fighting a war overseas. And he is coming home.
We didn't get an opportunity to have a big Welcome Home after J's first deployment. The girls and I were away from our home in Germany at the time. We were stateside visiting when J's orders to Oklahoma came down during his deployment. It was a race to get back home--he, coming from the Middle East and the girls and I bolting from Baltimore. We arrived in Germany just hours apart (he got there first). No balloons, no banners, no flags...just 4 people who were so deliriously happy to see each other that it didn't even matter.
J probably could not have cared less, but I always felt he deserved more ~ that we all did. I decided to make up for it while preparing for his second redeployment from Iraq. I ordered banners and bought yards of ribbon. The kids made homemade signs. We waved flags and cheered thunderously with other loved-ones-in-waiting as the buses bringing them from Ramstein Air Force Base made their way around the corner. Even "Flat Daddy" made an appearance on the Parade Field as our soldiers marched literally back to us. It was the homecoming of my dreams...just perfect.
This redeployment will not come with much fanfare. J is leaving his unit behind. There will be no cheering crowds at the airport. No marching across the parade field. No bands. No speeches. No flags. Just us. And you know what? That is the perfect homecoming.
As perfect as the yellow ribbon tied to the little tree in our front yard.