I originally posted this on Friday, but had to take it down, because it looked like Clint would not make it home on Saturday...but, thank God, he did...and now my post has an extra special ending...
You remember...you were little...it was almost Christmas...and every night you went to bed got you closer to Christmas Eve. It was all about the anticipation! No matter what's going around us, there are always things to anticipate...spring, vacation, a new baby, payday, a good Saturday afternoon nap...those things that we look so forward to because they are just slightly different from the everyday norm. Sometimes those things can make our hearts race a little...make us a little nervous, excited, overwhelmed. I remember so many sweet times watching our kiddos anticipate...whether it was the school musical for Christine, a big basketball game for Emily, or any sporting event for Brad...you could see all the emotions...and sometimes, I could feel their butterflies myself!
In the past year, I have learned a new meaning for anticipating heaven...thought I cannot wait to meet Jesus...I also anticipate being reunited with my sweet Roy...and THAT gets me through as I continue my journey here on earth.
But, today, our anticipation is for a return...there are butterflies racing through all our tummies...there are yellow bows tied to trees and porch and railing, there is an American flag flying proudly by the front step, and there is a precious girl...my Emily...waiting for her soldier. He's on his way home...at some point today, he'll land on American soil...and in the morning, he'll be met by a wild crowd at DFW...armed with signs, video cameras, and hearts overflowing with love and relief!
Though Roy was in Vietnam, we were not together at that time. His homecoming, however, was very different...no public welcome home...no hurray! But, yesterday, Emily and I both had the same thought at the same time...he would have LOVED being a part of Clint's WELCOME HOME! And, of course, he will be there with us...
Please keep Clint in your prayers as he returns home...for safe travel...for an absolutely overwhelming outpouring of love and appreciation from those he holds so dear...a comfortable readjustment period...and rest...from the weariness of war...and being away from his girl.
Athena and Lily have kept Emily company for these long 6 months...those cute dogs! But now, it's their turn! Can't wait to watch her run into his arms...right where she belongs...counting the hours...in anticipation...
SO.....on Friday afternoon, Emily called and said "he's not gonna be home tomorrow". So, quickly, I took this post down! I had no idea what to say to her...such disappointment...but still hopeful that he would get home soon!
Around lunchtime on Saturday, Christine texted me and said "hey, we're all going to go to Emily and Clint's for lunch around 2:00...to cheer her up..." And, so I got some dessert together...she wanted bar-b-que...so Matt and Christine took care of that. On my way, I stopped to pick up paper towels and toilet paper (this information totally plays into the story...).
When I got there, my arms were loaded with the paper goods and I had a bag with the dessert stuff in it. I walked in, trying to think of what encouraging words I could offer to my Em. I looked up and Clint walked around the corner. I don't know exactly what happened next, but apparently, I dropped everything in my arms. And then I just remember hugging him...and crying...SO HAPPY! Apparently, he flew all through the night trying to get home and only had a little bit of time to get a hold of Emily...so they had a sweet reunion at the airport and then...pulled a fast one on all of us!
I can't even put into words the thankfulness that poured from my heart...both for Clint's safe return...and for the answered prayers to GET HIM HOME.
I love anticipation...those warm, happy feelings it gives you...but in this case, I love the end result better...WELCOME HOME, Clinton!