Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Best Mother's Day Ever!

Steven Moore, Me, and Brian

The gig is up! We're in Georgia! Clint and I traveled Friday, from Champaign to Fort Benning Georgia, to meet Brian on Saturday morning, flying in from Kuwait. Moore flew in a week ago, and met us at Freedom Hall at 7:30 in the morning for the last leg of the wait.

It's been an emotional, exciting, busy weekend, chockful of laughter. I have so much to tell, and I promise to give you the scoop after I get home, and recover from this trip. We'll head home tomorrow, and Brian will begin reintegration classes on Tuesday. He and Moore will roll in to Champaign for their "Home Homecoming" on June 5.

In the meantime, here are a few from yesterday.

Here's the plane coming in. There's a 2-hour wait from landing time until you get to see your soldier.


The plane isn't located where you can see the soldiers depart. There were plenty of huge screens inside Freedom Hall, so that you could watch them come in.






There were about 8 of us, out of literally hundreds of families, that were lucky enough to get a tip from a soldier inside the fence: After they departed, the soldiers would go inside...and then come back outside to line up and turn in their weapons. If we stuck around, we'd get a sneak preview of ours.



Gah! There are 2 of mine! My own kid, and John Standish, below in black glasses, entered the door together. We whooped and hollered for their attention....





Glee! Joyful glee. As luck would have it, Standish's mother was one of the other 8 that got the word. Once we both began cheering for ours, we began jumping around and cheering each other: You're Standish's Mom? You're Jolley's Mom? "Your kid has been to my house!!!" we said in unison. Jolley and Standish end up wondering how in the heck their mother's managed to find one another. It was pure dumb luck.

After ours went on in for 2 more hours of processing, we ended up heading inside for free donuts and pacing the floor. I was so proud that I cheered and laughed when Brian came in. Could it it be that I wouldn't fall apart, after weeping from emotion all week, that my kid was OUT of Iraq?

The Army folks are good at letting you know what's going on, and how much longer it will be before you get your grubby little hands on your soldier.




There is deafening cheering when the doors open and these guys march in formation.



The Army folks are also wise to something else, at this point: We, the families, don't much care about lengthy speeches. The National Anthem is played, a 2-minute speech announcing them home is made, and then, before we crash the gates:

"Families, find your soldiers."



I can actually see mine, in this photo. Can you?

And the not crying stuff was hogwash. I lost it.



I just love this picture. I'm crying my eyes out, and Brian:


I got it out of my system, and bucked up. We found more of ours: Kyle Lathrop has been to my house a few times:


Aaaaaaaaand we're out of there. He's ours, he's ours, and we drag him out to re-introduce him to green grass, and trees with leaves, which he finds very, very sweet.



First stop: The barracks, to find some civvies:


Family Readiness Group has been there. A few toiletries, towels, and a bag filled with snacks is what awaits him when he gets in:



And, to his relief:



He can't wait to get out of those fatigues, and I can't help trying them on, for size.


My sons are home, people.

And me?

I feel light enough to float.

41 comments:

  1. I'm just delighted for you and so thankful Brian is safe and home. God Bless.

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  2. mwoodywiz11:32 PM

    Thats great lori, you look really happy and deserve to be. so does brian.

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  3. BRIAN IS HOME!

    STEVEN IS HOME! (and you are, Moore ~ but I think you know that)

    Blessed be and thank you.

    Lori...whenever, be in touch. But for goodness sake, take your frickin' time! You got better things to do right now than to be writing us!

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  4. Okay, I'll admit it. By the time I reached the end of the post I had tears running down my face. And this is from a hard-assed ol' fart that never gets emotional about anything.

    I agree with Bostonpopple, if we hear from you in the next week, then your priorities are screwed up. We'll be here when you are ready.


    &hearts &hearts &hearts Wil

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  5. I'm glad your son is home safe, Lori. That is a sweet, sweet picture of you in his fatigues. Your eyes and smile say it all.

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  6. I cried from the moment I saw the first photo of y'all! This will truly be a mothers day that you will never forget. How wonderful to have him back stateside!

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  7. Hooray!

    I hoped and prayed that your absence Friday and Saturday meant that your Mothers Day was going to be extra special. Those are great pictures!

    Now go hug your boy again, and you stay off line until you've caught up with him.

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  9. Of all the posts you've had that made me cry ... this is the best!

    I am so thankful he is home safe.... with you.

    Enjoy ... we can wait for the updates.

    ((((hugs to you and Brian )))

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  10. I'm thrilled for you guys, ecstatic, joyful, excited, yay! Brian's safely home. ENJOY and big hugs to you both!

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  11. Am crying with happiness for you all!

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  12. w000000000000...

    h000000000000!!!!

    I couldn't bring myself to comment on the earlier posts... afraid to death of being a jinx. (I might be too superstitious.)

    Happy Momma's day, belated!

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  13. What a great Mother's Day present. Hooray.

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  14. Yep, I'm crying, too. No "dumb luck" running into the other mom. That's how angels work. :)

    Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!!!!

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  15. marinemom7:18 AM

    I should not have read this before going to work. Now I have to go re do my makeup. I just crying my eyes out I'm so happy.

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  16. helped make my mother's day even better, too. I'm just so glad. Thanks for sharing such a momentous occasion with us.

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  17. StFarmer8:33 AM

    Outstanding!

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  18. soooooooo happy for you!!!!

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  19. Oh Lori, your story has has been such a personal connection to the war for me. I'm so happy that Brian is home. So thankful that he is out of harm's way. I'll keep praying that someday every mother will have her son or daughter home and safe.

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  20. Of course, I cried while reading this...I'm sooooooooo happy!! "Light as air" is a good description...

    Woooohooo!

    Also, I was wondering if Brian ATE any of the leaves or grass...heh heh...Just kidding!

    ;0)

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  21. Congradulations. I cried reading it. So I can only image your tears. I am so happy for you and you bet that is the Best Mother's Day Ever.
    Becky

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  22. Today's post was the bright spot of my entire day.

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  23. I had to "Borrow" the photo of you and Brian for my post today.

    As I said up there ^^^^ in my other comment, this is a tears of happiness story.

    =)

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  24. Still thrilled for you over here! Those photos are priceless. The best Mother's Day ever, in-DEED!

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  25. I'm so happy for you all!!!!
    BIG BIG BIG LOVE all around!

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  26. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Lori, I am so happy that Brian made it home safe. I was so worried. Everytime I heard something on the news I was sick to my stomach. Now we can all relax for he is safe. I just wish it were that way for everyone of the kids over there. I want them all home safe.Kelly

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  27. So glad to hear the boys returned safe and sound! What a perfect time for them to get back to Illinois....gonna be a great summer!

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  28. I'm very pleased for you and your son. Enjoy your time together.

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  29. Couldn't be happier for you. Got a big old lump in my throat watching you hug your kid. Enjoy every minute!

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  30. I bawled like a baby. Hug him for all of us.

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  31. I've got giant happiness for you!!!
    This is the best Mother's Day story of all.

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  32. Oh My GOSH!
    I'm so excited for you!!
    SO excited that it took me 8 tries to spell excited!
    I've been checking your blog everyday hoping the reason you hadn't posted was because he was back!
    YAY!
    I hope he's been enjoying his time home -- I'm sure you have :)

    P.S -- way to make me cry!

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  33. I'm so happy...my eyes got teared up...it's amazing having them home...God Bless You guys!!!

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  34. Getting caught up after being away for a couple of weeks.

    Good Lord -- I'm crying right along with you! I can't thank you enough for sharing such personal moments and thoughts. WONDERFUL photos!

    Janet

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  35. Really great, Lori. I'm very happy for you, even though I don't know you.

    I just now stumbled across your blog through the magic of the World Wide Web, and I clearly picked a great week to do it.

    I'm a journalist/writer myself, so I'd love to hear more about your work in publishing sometime.

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  36. i'm so glad for you and brian! i can release the breath i've been holding...

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  37. did I not comment when I read this before? must have had to go weep. I couldn't be happier for you.

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  38. Thank you all so much for your comments; so great to have you in the wings supporting us through this!

    xoxoxo

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