Josh and I have celebrated our fair share of homecomings during his time in the Navy. During the vast majority of them, no cameras were allowed so all those memories are stored in my wonky brain. (Scary!) Hopefully committing those memories here will preserve them forever.
He’d been gone a long long time (or so it seemed to my young heart). He’d been gone a long long time, and the Navy decided to keep him for one more day … “first day duty.” I swear, there is nothing quite like the frustration of knowing your sailor is just right there, just beyond that gate and that guard, but you still have to wait another twenty-four hours to see him.
I skipped the “real” homecoming. Who shows up knowing their sailor will not? I felt a little cheated at missing the hoopla and annoyed at an additional day’s wait. But instead I waited patiently (ha!) by the phone until the next day when I finally got the call!
“Hey! Can you come pick up me the big lower base parking lot?”
He could probably have heard my ecstatic “YES!” all those miles away without the phone. I grabbed Aubrey, jumped in the car, and raced to the base! I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to lay eyes on my sailor! Driving the speed limit on base nearly caused me physical pain!
On my way I passed a young sailor in his blue utilities, seabag slung over his shoulder, walking back toward upper base and thought, “That sucks! We’ll pick him up on the way back if we see him again!” I drove on past, too excited to see my own sailor to be a good Samaritan just yet, when I looked into my rear view mirror and saw that that sailor has stopped and was waving his arms in the air. I slowed, looked back again, and realized I HAD JUST DRIVEN PAST JOSH!!!
A few months at sea has slimmed him down a bit more than usual. His skin was nearly as pale as mine from his time in the deep blue, and he was bald, completely totally bald. He looked like a different person!!! But the differences I noted were overshadowed by one very important fact …
While I rushed to my love and tried to obey the speed limit … my love had decided waiting was too much and took off walking … in the hot Georgia sun … in his dark blue utilities … with a huge seabag strapped to his back … to get to me.
Who needs Homecoming hoopla when you’ve got that?
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