Photo Credit: Bill Abbott

A little over a year ago I was traveling from Germany (home), to Alabama (Mimi’s house), with my circus of children to visit my family.  After a 5:30 wake-up call, hours standing in line holding my 2 year-old on my right hip while holding the hand of my 4-year-old, an 11-hour fun-filled trip of pull-ups, spilled drinks, Disney movies, color crayons, lost sippy cups, pull-up nightmares, plane-toilet drama, and tears of “joy,” we finally landed in Atlanta, Georgia.  We all sighed a deep breath of relief when we made our connection flight to Pensacola, FL.

LAST LEG OF THE TRIP!  Can I get an Amen and Hallelujah?

We got on the plane and started to get settled.  At this point in the trip, I had stopped making eye contact with any other humans in my vicinity besides the ones who came from my loins.  We had been traveling for hours at this point, it was close to 2 a.m. for those of us still on Germany time and we looked and smelled like road kill.

So out came the DVD player, the blankies, the toys, the kitchen sink. . .(you get the picture) and we tried to love each other through one more flight.  After the flight attendant explained the emergency exits and I day dreamed about us all sliding down the big yellow slide that comes out of the side of the plane, the pilot came on the speakers with a special announcement.

“We are honored to be riding with SGT ______, on his final journey home to Pensacola from Afghanistan.”

Mattox immediately pipes up, “Afghanistan!??  That is where my daddy lived!  He was there a loooonnnggg time!”

I reassured her that yes, it is the same place and we talked about the amazing memory of the day Jeremy came to us after his final journey home from Afghanistan.

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