For most of my married life, Alan has traveled to some extent. He left to go to Navy boot camp a couple of months after we were married. I finished out my pregnancy and delivered Ashleigh without him:( Because God has seen fit to have these periods of absences in my life, I have come to appreciate some things about being without Alan for periods of time. The very best part of it....the homecomings! I love the homecomings!
Now, I have had many different kinds of homecomings. While our four children were little, Alan worked away four days a week for two years. So, every week, it was so exciting to watch my little children stand at the window and look for Daddy's car to get home. The weekends were so exciting because Daddy was home with us!
The granddaddy of all homecomings for our lives was when Alan was in the Navy and went on his second Med-cruise. He would be gone for six months. Ashleigh was 3 1/2 and Bethany was just about to turn 2. When I would look at the calendar and turn the pages of six months, I saw no possible way I could make it through that. As the day approached for them to ship out, I was pretty sure God was not going to let this happen. Surely He knew I couldn't handle it and would not send Alan away for such a long time and leave me alone with two little girls. Well, God did have Alan set out with his ship for six months. Were those six months hard? (Certainly not as hard as the wives who send their husbands to Iraq or Afghanistan for a year or more!) They were hard. It is hard when your four year-old little girl walks around the house with a picture of her as a newborn baby and her Daddy holding her. While Ashleigh was doing this, she was crying with this cry that comes from your gut saying, "I want my Daddy! I want my Daddy!" I thought my heart would break in two pieces.
But, at the end of all of that.....the HOMECOMING!! The day we had been living for and talking about for six months. The trash days had been counted down and the USS Virginia was on her way home!! New outfits were bought, hair styles were considered and then the day came. I got up hours and hours early just to be able to enjoy every minute of that day! The girls and I had a bag packed with snacks and had fixed ourselves up all pretty:) Our Daddy was coming home. As the ship came in, the men dressed in their dress blues all looked the same standing on the deck. Then, slowly they got closer and we could recognize our Daddy!! There is nothing that I have ever been through that compares to that. I could touch him. He was right next to me finally!! The girls were so happy to be in their Daddy's arms:)
Since that day, we have spent many many more days apart. As soon as Alan got out of the Navy, his job took him away for 3 1/2 months!! I had thought it was only the military that did that.
In Alan's job in Rochester, he traveled lots and would be gone for a week at a time or sometimes a bit more.
Now we are back to Alan traveling. I miss him lots while he is gone, but I can not help but like some parts of it and look forward to his homecomings. Tonight Alan will come home after being gone for four days. I will watch out the window while I continue making preparations for dinner and when I see those headlights, I will be so excited to see him!
Alan may read this and read other things into this post. He is going to tell me that I don't miss him and am glad he is gone during the week. That is not it at all. God has given us this in our lives. I choose to find the positive parts of it and enjoy them.