Friday, January 9, 2009

follow the yellow ribbon home

my cellphone rang about 9:48 in the morning on monday, january 5th. the ringtone, something familiar: there's no combination of words i could put on the back of a postcard, no song i could sing but for your heart i could try... oh my gosh! it's him! from his cellphone! he has to be somewhere in the united states!

i answered with the lovey-doveyiest 'i love you' i think i have ever let come from my body. but, i kept the excitement to a minimum. this could be the call of 'hunnie, i'm in the usa, but we're stranded because of weather' or this could be the phone call of 'hunnie, what's for dinner? i'll be home in time to eat with y'all tonight!' well, it was the later of the two! my hero, my husband was in minniapolis and on his way home, finally!

i kept busy until the last hour before we were suppose to head to the gym to partake of the homecoming festivities... it was the longest hour of my life, it seemed. but, it passed and then came the call, 'hunnie, we're loading the buses and heading for you! see you in an hour!' the phone calls just kept getting better that day!

we made our way to the gym, and lucky for us, we got there just before the crowds poured in! perfect parking upfront and great seats in the bleachers (there was no way we, my wiggly toddler, and i were going to sit on the floor in folding chairs, too much temptation for him to take off and make a run for daddy). i had one of my good mommy friends come up and take pictures for us (her husband had gotten in the week prior, so she knew what to expect and i did too, this was my second deployment, but this was our first large redeployment ceremony). we watched the slide show for what seemed like forever and then it came...

one the two large projection screens they showed our soldiers disembarking the plane and making their way down the stairs as they were greeted by the post commander at the airport. we looked and looked and looked (and we found jamey)but couldn't see aaron. i figured i had missed him while dealing with our wiggly toddler. didn't matter. as long as he came through those gym doors, i didn't need to see him on some screen.

the doors opened, the music started and then came the screams and happy tears! i searched every face the soldiers entered. nope, not him, nah, geez, i know he called me from our airport, is that him, nope... OH MY GOSH CAYMAN! IT's DADDY! and there he was, my hero, my husband, my rock, my best friend, my other half. we were just moments away from being complete again!

after the national anthem and invocation and the commander's speech which seemed to carry on forever, they were dismissed. i had made a deal with aaron, since he's all of 6'3" and i'm a stunning 5', cayman and i would stay put on the bleachers and let him come to us. boy, i've never seen him move so fast through a crowd!

the initial kiss was the best ever... one i've waited 408 days for! and cayman didn't seem to mind that mommy and daddy had a moment. cayman himself was apprehensive at first, having to scan aaron, making sure it really was him, the guy from the computer, the guy from the pictures, the guy from the bedtime stories, the voice on the phone and the voice in his build-a-bear. and once he knew it was really him, and slowly mad ehis way to aaron.

after gathering up aaron's gear, we made our way home, as a family. i had him drive and told him, 'follow the yellow ribbons home.' and that he did, all the way to our house, our home. dinner was great! and cayman had warmed up so much to aaron that he even let him give him his bath! and then it was mommy and daddy time!

ps, i love you and i'm so glad you're home, to stay!


Whitney said...

such a beautiful story! :)

The Fishers said...

I can't stop crying! I am so happy for your and Cayman that Daddy's home! What a wonderful feeling to have him safe and FINALLY home with you! Enjoy every second! I'm sure you'll be busy, but keep us updated. Have a blast!

Tyler said...

Ok I'm glad I'm not the only one who cried while reading this! I'm so glad you guys are finally reunited! I hope it's amazing!