THe Harting Family

THe Harting Family

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love and Gratitude

On Monday, after a 24 hour delay, the love of my life finally made it home. On Sunday the day before, finally , after a very long and stressful deployment, I had a mini break down at the main gate hanging signs for my love and some of the others that couldn’t make it to homecoming that I offered to hang signs for. I thought I had been doing good, I thought I had kept it together....and I did, until we were 24 hours away from it all being over. At the gate with one of my dearest friends, Dawn...I almost completely came apart. I was agitated, I was irritable and I was throwing a temper tantrum. I was feeling the complete opposite that of a woman that was 24 hours away from getting her husband home safe. It was really difficult for me to try to understand why I was feeling that way, I actually knew why but up until then I hadn’t given those feelings a voice. To be quite blunt, I was seriously pissed off.
I was pissed off because there were 5 families that weren’t getting to hang signs, to know the joy we were all feeling at the end of this deployment, from all accounts one of, if not the most difficult deployments some of our Marines have been through. Not only did we lose 5 brave souls, we had 90 of our men, wounded. These are the statistics the media doesn’t report, and how about the countless others that were going to come home or who were already home with invisible wounds. This deployment sucked and at the end of it I found out I was pretty angry. I wanted to be thrilled that day, hanging our sign, welcoming our men home but I found myself really angry and I wanted to hit someone. I expressed this to my friend Dawn who told me if I hit her she was going to hit me back, and she would have no doubt, so that kind of made me snap out of it.
Monday the morning of our homecoming our men were again delayed several hours, I was called by another great friend Michelle who let me know , her husband had come home on Advon so she was anxious as only a real friend would be for me to have my homecoming and as excited as she was on the day of her own homecoming. So her and Dawn came over to my house that morning, Starbucks in hand to sit with me to help keep it together for this day, another friend came to do my hair so I would looMk pretty for my husband. During the day I had chatted with the mother of one of our fallen, and the wife of another of our fallen, who I also consider a dear friend. Their pain was palpable, this would have been their homecoming day as well, these were 2 of our Lima boys, and they were having a hard time, rightfully so. I didn’t want to tell them that I was angry they weren’t getting their day, so much so that is colored my whole day the day before, because if I have learned anything going through deployments it is that these things didn’t happen to me, it’s not about me, it’s about those families, the Goyets, the Lucas’s and the countless other families that have lost their heros. They both assured me that although they were struggling they were so happy we were all getting our Marines home safely. And I know they meant it.
The day of my homecoming I decided to take off my “advisor” hat and just be a wife waiting for her husband, the whole day I stayed home waiting to hear that our buses had rolled on to base, once I got the call that my husband was on base I made it to the field. It was a festive day, we had a family drive all the way from Texas to BBQ for their son and all his brothers, it was quite amazing and a huge task that we will never forget so thank you Delay Family. I found a corner to hang out in with my dear friends and we all gathered getting frequent updates about their arrival at the armory, and it took FOREVER, Did I mention the Commandant of the Marine Corps along with the SgtMaj of the Marine Corps decided to go greet our men at the armory and after came over to the field to chat with the families, it was really nice and they had come the night before as well to greet our PMT and some others. I will tell you there were countless times that I would look at children playing waiting for their their dads that I didn’t wish I would see Zach and Tyson waiting for their daddy, smiles ear to ear. Or hugging one of our moms wishing it was Martha as well here to greet Mark, their absence was so obvious to me, as I am sure it was to many others that day . I would like to add I keep referring to Mark and Lucas because they were Lima Marines, but in no way does it mean our other fallen didn’t cross my mind on countless times that day. Paul, Christopher and Jason were with us on that field that day as well...and we will always say their names at every give opportunity. Jasons grandmother and mother left lovely comments on my facebook the day my husband came home, Jason would have been home this week as well, and I will be at that homecoming and I will be wishing and thinking of his family as well. They are amazing woman that I feel lucky to have had been able to have a dialogue with.
Ok I am rambling. What I want to say is I am thankful, and my heart is full of gratitude to have my husband home, and my sons father. I know I am lucky, I will never take it for granted the gift I have received to have him come home. And I am grateful for friends that “get” it. I am also looking forward to helping my friend Dawn on her homecoming day, and until they all come home, I will keep waiting.
To our Darkside Families that lost their heros...we love you, we support you and we will never forget.


Cassie said...

I am so glad your husband is home safe. I hope that in a year I will have the same safe return of my husband. We are a few months away from a deployment that we know nothing about. We don't know if its a year, or 9 months. This will be the largest deployment for this unit in years. We have over 4000 soldiers deploying, and I'm scared. I hope that I can be as strong as you when the time comes to welcome home our soldiers and remember the ones we lost. <3

ines said...

you are strong woman Heidi and I envy you for that. I think I have had a few mini breakdowns during this deployment, but to have had none until a few hours before your husbands arrival is...amazing. i know that may sound strange, but you have had a very emotional deployment. you have kept yourself. you have been the core of your husband's battalion while they were away. you have been the women the other's looked up to.
i'm soooo happy your husband is home!!!

Lisa said...

So glad that your husband is home! Thank you for sharing your raw emotion with us.

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

I remember when Kevin came home in December 2006 and I felt many of the same feelings that you expressed. I wanted to be happy but I was angry and hurt that some of our friend's wouldn't have the same homecoming. It was so hard to find joy in such an emotional time. I will forever be grateful to my dear friend who is a widow who shoved me off the bleacher to run to my husband. She said while it was so hard for her to watch, it also warmed her heart to see that others do come home and get the homecomings they deserve.

Thanks for these beautiful, tender words.