Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Complete

You've waited months for a single moment. Long, agonizing, lonely months. You've lived in a quiet house and slept in an empty bed. You've felt incomplete. Every time the phone rang your heart gave a start and you lived for the time of day when the mail ran. For seven months you've had nothing to hold onto but pictures, emails and your husbands dogtags. He's been deployed and you've been holding down the home front, buying groceries, taking care of the house and paying the bills. You've been marking the days off the calender with a sharpee all the while dreaming of the moment he steps off the bus. Over 200 days gone.

Finally the day has come. You're family is here to welcome him home and wait with you. It's the longest day of your life. He was supposed to be home two days ago but was delayed twice in Germany. You received the long awaited call this morning that he would be home before the day is over. You've barely eaten all day because you're too excited. You're excited, anxious, proud and nervous all at once. you wonder what it's going to be likfe when he gets back. Are we going to have to get used to each other all over again or are we going to pick where we left off? Has he changed? Have a changed? You've missed him more than you could ever explain but you couldn't be more proud of his service to your country. Now you're back at Headquarters, the same place where you last saw him seven months ago, standing with all the other families who are pacing anxiously waiting for their husbands, sons and fathers.

The sun is getting lower in the sky and before long it's night. It's been three hours now but you're prepared to wait longer. Women in the crowd are getting short phone calls from their Marines updating them on the their location. With each call they get closer. Only moments to go. Finally two greyhound buses round the corner. It's them. The crowd cheers and applauds. Your heart is racing and you're so excited your can't even cry. Your mom is armed with her camera and your dad is videoing. The buses come to a stop in front of you. You can look inside the windows at the sea of desert cammies and all the men look alike. One by one they start to filter off the steps of the bus. Your dad yells "there he is!" and then you spot a familiar face under a cover. Your lock eyes with him from a few yards away. He stops andn you stare at each other for a fraction of a second. In that second the last seven months go racing through your mind...and then they disappear as you run into his arms. Then nothing else matters. There's chaos and crying and camera flashes going off all around you but all you can see and feel is him.

You've waited months for this moment. Long, agonizing, lonely months. But now you're Marine is home and you're complete again.

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