Coming home. What a wonderful thing to say. To hear. To anticipate.
In a previous post I mentioned a friend of mine whose husband is in Iraq. He was coming home for his two week leave back at the first of July. She and the kids enjoyed every second he was home and even let him go back. They didn't want to. Well, his time is almost up over there. He is there with a man from my church and two other guys I grew up with. W (friend's hubby) and J (man from my church) are full time national guard and therefore have been gone longer than others due to getting things ready.
Miss M, mah friend, sent an email out last week. She had gone over her 2004 calendar and was making some observations. Like how many days W had been gone. The last time they had a "date" night. How he's missed first days of 5K and first grade for the oldest child. How he missed all the teething with the second child and her first words. Now she speaks in sentences. Just a list of things that are small but make a big picture. I cried reading it...knowing that even though she's made it through...it was such a hard road.
At church Sunday, I asked the mother of one of the guys I grew up with if she had heard from him. She laughed and said that he had called at 3 a.m. that morning because they call when they get the chance and no one complains about what time of day or night the phone rings. He was mostly chit-chatting and the excitement came through. They call everyday over there "wakeups". Before he would talk about months...then weeks....now he says "I have X number of wakeups....then I'm coming home".
Mr. J's wife came in then and I asked her how he was doing. Ready to come home. (he's got 4 grankids chomping at the bit to see Papa) I asked her if she was ready for him to come in and take over the house again after she's been on her own for so long.
And this is what I found out.
And it's so cool.
When our soldiers come home they have to take a class of sorts. They don't come straight from the airport home. They have things to do equipment-wise and a class. This class is to show them how to integrate themselves back into their homes and families. They stress to the men that you do NOT come in and take over. Your wife has been rowing the boat on her own for a while and she might not want ...uh.....help. And I think this is cool. Very smart of someone to come up with this. I guess the divorce rate was so high before, they realized a little help might be needed in this area.
We are waiting for our men to come home. They've been gone for over a year and we've missed them in our everyday lives. Best part about it? Everyone our unit sent will be coming home...walking...breathing....alive.