A Peek

Yesterday Facebook showed me my On This Day, and I recovered some old gratitude.
From December 12, 2010 —
Let me show you a piece of my heart. Let me show you what my gratitude looks like. Beware the feels.

homecoming2homecominghomecoming3homecoming5homecoming8homecoming6homecoming9homecoming1homecoming7

We call that Homecoming.

A friend of ours took these pictures. He offered. Said he wouldn’t bother us, he just wanted to capture it. What a kindness.

We got up before 5 that morning. I made coffee and cocoa for five travel mugs to go. I drove us to the field. Emotionally, Cottrell Field was a complicated place. It was a large field with bleachers on one side and lined with rows of trees elsewhere. In the spring, the beauty of it was bittersweet, because the more redbud blooms, the more memorials. And I could not, for lack of counting skills and fear of a broken heart, tell you how many more trees were planted while we were there from 2006-2013.

Here’s a photo of a bit of Warrior’s Walk at Cottrell Field from Marne Community

ww-452x300

They ended up burning the redbuds down due to ecological issues, and replaced them with crepe myrtles. They did this December 12, 2014.

To await your loved one’s return in a place where you are surrounded by the memory of those who did not return is significantly poignant.

Homecoming means sitting on bleachers for a long, long time. The Army takes the field, important people speak, the band plays. You wait. Finally, they release them and you wait more. You wait to be found and reclaimed.

The year 2010 was the longest, hardest year of my life. It wasn’t the last time he left home, or the longest deployment, it just felt like…well that one felt like roulette: How many times can I land on red?

Much as I hated seven hot years in Georgia, I wouldn’t undo it. It’s a significant chapter of my life, and of our marriage. I learned a lot about myself, and well, everyone else. I met some fantastic women. I really did enjoy the health insurance. Because of those seven years, I appreciate a thousand little usta-be nothings that are now, really, really something.

I don’t write about it much because the intensity is difficult to describe. I’m hella grateful it’s over.

The Mister still wears combat boots sometimes, but he comes home every night.

boots

How’s that for gratitude on a Tuesday?

 

 

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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60 Responses to A Peek

  1. Sounds lovely. Happiness really is priceless

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Benson says:

    Beautiful. That makes the sun shine through all that snow. Wonderful pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post. So happy your hubby is home to stay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lorriedeck says:

    Thank you, and your Mister, for your service. Sometimes people forget it’s not just the active service person to whom we owe our thanks, but those who stay behind to keep the home fires burning deserve our thank yous as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jewels says:

    I love this Joey, thanks so much for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you both for your service. What a wonderful tribute to your long awaited Welcome Home.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. marianallen says:

    I am hearting this to the max. ❤ ❤ ❤ +

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is real gratitude and it is just as poignant then as it is today. 🙂 While I was reading and looking at the photos I was thinking about all the people who are griping about something today that is of no importance. I returned something and I had two senior adults behind me arguing who got to the line first. They just need to know what a ‘real’ problem is and get over themselves. Thanks for that peek.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Dan Antion says:

    Sweet photos. Finding the good parts of even difficult times is a huge key to happiness. Thanks for giving us this peek.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful post of gratitude! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. meANXIETYme says:

    I love this post. I love the pictures. I love all of it. Thank you (and your whole family) and the Mister for all you’ve done for us and for our country. I’m so glad that’s a part of your past and you get to hug the Mister every night, in or out of the boots. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bikerchick57 says:

    Like Facebook, there should be a little heart ^up there^ that I can click on. I can’t imagine how hard it is for family members of those in the military…to watch them leave more than once, to wonder how they are doing every day, to feel relief when they return home. Please thank The Mister for his service to our country. I’m so glad, for your sake and that of the kids, that he does come home every night. Truly something to be grateful for! Thanks for sharing your heart and the photos, Joey.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (There are a lot of you.)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is so beautiful and moving, Joey. Thank you for sharing your gratitude and joy. Wonderful pictures! 🙂 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, the sacrifice of military families, I’ve known so many, and I don’t know how they hold up ! Your pics tell a story, and it’s a lovely one. Thanks for sharing, we can feel the feels. 💘

    Liked by 1 person

  16. pluviolover says:

    Thanks for writing about it. Wait, I got sumtin in meh eye…. This is good to see and read about.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ghostmmnc says:

    Oh, Joey…your photos bring a tear to my eyes…happy tears for your family. I know exactly how that feels. So many deployments, and then the wonderful homecomings…thank God. … The hugs, yes those hugs are the best feeling ever. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. loisajay says:

    Whew. Nothing to add, Joey. Beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Norm 2.0 says:

    Just beautiful 💓

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks to the Mister from us as well and for you and your family for doing without him so often and for loving and supporting him and each other. Your Christmas will be merry because you’re together!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Anxious Mom says:

    Thanks for sharing this, you’ve got me tearing up. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Joanne Sisco says:

    This was so touching, Joey. The expression on your face in the first photo says it all … colliding emotions. I’m so glad that you were one of the lucky ones ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. larva225 says:

    Those pictures are simply beautiful. Thank you for putting those out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. garym6059 says:

    Beautiful :), they burned down all the trees? That makes me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. April says:

    Beautiful photos! I thank you and your family for the service to our country….especially the hub. You made me smile and cry at the same time! Merry Christmas to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This made me tear up when I went through it with you first time and saw those pictures and today your gratitude just brings it back in poignancy. I wish I could love this…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. This is so lovely Joey, it brought a lump to my throat. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. reocochran says:

    This was a fabulous reminder of a special day and such a wonderful set of family photos, Joey!

    Liked by 1 person

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