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December 20, 2012

122 Days Later

Good thing we had the Peter D. Tracker in high gear, as his flight landed 27 minutes early.  Given that he refuses to bring anything other than a backpack, he generally flies through customs and is in the arrivals area in Dulles in no time.

He was not expecting me.  I swore up and down I would not pick him up, in order to throw him off my trail.  Meanwhile, back in October, I secured Dr. Salty Dog to come over at o'dark thirty so the kids would not be alone while I made the trek to the airport. As IF I'd let him rely on a taxi to get him home after 122 days away (but we did NOT count...well, the kids didn't).

I hid behind a pillar the minute his flight was said to be in customs.  Within minutes, he came out of those double doors and looked right at me, only to look away.  I stepped out, he looked back in my direction...and, oh, the waterworks that would have started had we both not been utterly exhausted and in a not-so-public place.

So, after 4 months of ups and downs, crankiness and utter joy, the kids being saints...and the kids being kids, Peter arrived safe and sound.  And, I have to say, the timing was impeccable.

Just last week, I was berating myself for not having our holiday cards ready, for being behind on Christmas (not totally, just a bit), for not having completely renovated the house while he was gone, for my crankiness (okay, that I earned), for everything.  Then, over the past few days, it really hit me:

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Forget the gifts.  Forget everything else.  Our little family is together for Christmas and especially this year, after Peter survived another 4 months in a war zone, that's ALL that matters.  Not the perfect tree, gorgeously wrapped gifts or a table groaning with Christmas treats.  Nothing else matters but that we are together, safe and sound as a family.  Everything else is irrelevant.

We are so grateful to simply be together as a family at long last...truly the most important gift.

 

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WELCOME HOME PETER!!! :) *snif* so happy for you all!

Those welcome homes are tear jerkers. Glad you are all together again, safe and warm in big welcome home hugs. Merry Christmas!

I had a similar epiphany today sitting on our couch while we all sang the ABC's. It really doesn't matter that we have not a single Christmas decoration up (thank you pneumonia!) or that I still have 2 box rooms. I'm in bliss that the hubs is home after a grueling 109 days. Glad P made it home and have a great surprise waiting for him!

I am so counting! :-) I'm glad you're all together. That is the way Christmas should be. I pick up Husband in an hour. Yippee for homecomings!

Amen to that, sistah! Simple and special, and being present for each other (which you guys do even from thousands of miles apart, but closer is even better!) That is all that matters.

So incredibly happy to read this. Enjoy the time -- you all earned a nice R&R! XO

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