Erin and Stuart greeting Mark at the airport after his overseas tour.
Our military spouses serve for us all, but they live for their families.

Our military spouses serve for us all, but they live for their families.

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I don’t know what it is about this week. It seems like every morning I turn on my computer to find a new post, picture or video from my husband or my kids that brings back memories – good and bad.

This morning I turned on my computer to find the video below posted on Erin’s Facebook wall.

I cried through the whole video, my heart hurting, and not able to breathe.

Mark has done a couple of tours – one before we were married and one after.

Stuart
The photo of Stu we used to make Mark’s t-shirt.

For the one after, he was posted to a hot, desert climate for his tour, and while he was away, the kids and I sent regular ‘care packages’ with homemade goodies, books, magazines, toys, puzzles and some zany, funny items like a beach set (pail and shovel set, and floatie), a wind-up rapping hamster, and a giant stuffed red iguana for him to cuddle at night.

By the time Mark went on tour, I had been operating my business for several years and the kids spent a lot of time at the office with me. With all of the equipment and supplies at hand, we decided to make Mark a special t-shirt using photos of Erin and Stu wearing Mark’s field helmet. This was the best gift because we had so much fun making it.

Erin in Dad's helmet.
Erin ready for duty on a rainy day.

On the day Mark was returning home, the kids were ‘bouncing off the walls’, chattering constantly, with the words “When…,” “What…,” “How…,” Why…,” ringing in my ears.

When I finally managed to get us all to the airport, the arrivals area was cordoned off with rope and I had to physically restrain the kids by hugging them to my sides to prevent them from running under the rope to look for ‘Daddy’.

Finally, Mark appeared, I gave the kids a little shove and said, “Go get your Dad!” and the kids took off squealing and shouting “Daddy, you’re home!”

Amid the noise my kids were making, I distinctly heard a woman waiting behind me say, “I wish someone would greet me like that!”

We may have been on public display in the middle of Pearson Airport, but wherever we were together was, as the kids said, ‘home’.


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