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Homecoming Fantasy, Meet Reality

At the beginning of this deployment, I had grand plans for how I would welcome my husband home after his six months of flying around the world as part of the traveling rock and roll show that is a COD det. Amongst the things on my pre-homecoming checklist were:

  • Clean the house until it sparkles
  • Proudly display a new flag outside
  • Repaint the flaking railing on the front stoop
  • Prepare a delicious meal -- perhaps my zucchini, eggplant, and goat cheese lasagna -- to pop in the oven for our first dinner at home together
  • Find sexy new shoes to go with my adorable homecoming dress
  • Get a haircut (for the first time in six months...)
  • Don new contacts and sunglasses so as not to blind myself while waiting for the plane to pull up to the hangar
  • Show up at the squadron on the big day in my cute dress to meet my handsome pilot as he steps off the airplane
About a week out from homecoming day, however, I got knocked on my tuchus by a nasty cold and spent the days leading up to my husband's long-anticipated return collapsed on my couch, unable to leave the house even for groceries, subsisting on ramen noodles, and surrounded by tissues and bottles of medicine. Things I actually accomplished from my checklist:
  • Show up at the squadron on the big day in my cute dress (but still sniffling and feeling decidedly unsexy) to meet my handsome pilot as he steps off the airplane
And you know what?

It was all okay. He still loves me even though the house was a wreck and I didn't have a special dinner ready and I kept him awake the whole first night he was back with my incessant coughing and I made him take me to the doctor the next day. Sampson is home. Although I did not manage to welcome my husband back in the style I had dreamed, we are all too aware of how close we came to not having a reunion at all. We are just happy that he's here, with all of real life's imperfections -- no glittering fantasy world required.

Have you ever made an ambitious to-do list that did not survive first contact with the enemy real life? How did you reconcile the homecoming you dreamed of with the one that actually happened?

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