The big day finally arrived! November 21st. We had dropped him off on May 1st, said our tearful goodbyes and drove away. I cried a few tears and then took a deep breath and put a bandaid on my heart and asked God to hold it there until he comes home. We had much to do to keep us busy and a few ports here and there to be able to hear his voice. We got into our daily routines and tried not to really even think about counting down yet. Knowing that he was in dangerous territory for a while made it hard to not think of the worst, to not think of all the "what ifs"...But soon we were down to 1 month....so exciting...until we were told they were extended....maybe....not sure how long. HARD! Then it was 6 weeks extended and I just cried a little and then got tough again and moved on. But then Cindy told me the extension was to be shorter than expected and we rejoiced.....and started counting down DAYS! In the last week, I couldn't sleep or think of anything else. I daydreamed of his return and what things would be like. I was so very anxious and excited. I truly missed him like I've never missed him before. We'd done a zillion of 2-3 monthers on a trident, but just never anything quite like this. The day came and we tried to pass the hours. I tried to look so nice for him.........and finally it was time to go. We went down to the pier and the excitement filled the air. The navy band was playing good ol patriotic music and the other wives and family members were everywhere all filled with excitement. And then...........we saw the boat. My friend Cindy and I gave each other a hug and just said "we made it" and the tears started and I couldn't stop them. The relief, the excitement, the joy, the thankfulness and the pride that wells up when that sub comes toward the pier and we know that our men are on that and where they have been and what they have been doing for our country.......it is just inexpressable. They opened the gates and let us on the main pier and we watch and wait for our man to come off (and they all look the same ofcourse). But I knew when I saw him and Cindy just said "Go, Go"! He was in his dress uniform and looked so very handsome. I have never seen him come off in his dress blues before so that was really awesome. The kids ran to him and he knelt and they both hugged his neck and he hugged them like I have never seen before. I then got my hug and I never wanted to let go. He was home, He was home , He was home!!! May I never, ever forget how it felt to be without him, may I never forget what he and all of the others are doing for our country and may I never take for granted my freedom and my safety because there are men and women fighting and putting themselves in danger every single day to make sure that I have just that. May God truly bless America and may America truly learn to love our Amazing God!!!!!