I must pre-warn you, this may end up to be a very long post. There are so many wonderful people to thank for all the support they have given me this past year but especially the past six months when my number two son, Michael, left for deployment last November to Afghanistan. Michael is in the Air Force and works as a Special Operations Weather Technician. He is a combat weather guesser ;o) I had experienced deployment before with my husband, he was a P-3 pilot in the U.S. Navy. It was difficult being a deployment wife but this was different. This is my baby boy!
I completely fell apart when he left. It is possibly the most difficult thing I have ever done. I had been waiting really since the day he left to find out when he would be coming home. If you are in the military, you understand sometimes deployments get extended, that sometimes arrivals get delayed and sometimes your loved one does not come home at all. It is a reality that every military family lives with every deployment. Where they go and what they do are not located in safe places. So all you can do is wait. Wait to find out when they are coming home.
He had some dates about a month ago and that is when I discovered that he would be coming home the weekend of International Quilt Market...NNNNNNNnnnnnnoooooo! He would be flying and staying overnight in MD ( about 2 hours north). I was going to miss my son's homecoming. I may have cried more than a little.
Two days before leaving for Pittsburgh, I asked on Facebook if anyone would be willing to help me make a sign for Michael. I really had not thought it through, I did not have a real plan but I had so many amazing people say YES!!! So, I went forward...
I bought 19 pieces of poster board and Crayola markers! That is really all one needs when making a sign :o)
Since I had never been to Pittsburgh before, I had no idea the layout of the Convention Center or where this would all take place or when. Trying to get more than two people together in such a large place and all at the same time is quite a feat! It was decided by the group that we would meet in the lobby right after the close of the day.
On Thursday night about 11pm, We were putting the boxes back in the Aurifil booth after Sample Spree and my phone rings. No one calls my cell since I never have it with me but I just happened to that night and it was MICHAEL!!!! He was in MD ( a day early) and he sounded tired but great! It did not seem real or like it was anything special at the time. It had not HIT me yet that he is actually home. I missed seeing him in Maryland since he was only there for 24 hours and he had to return back to Ft. Campbell to check into his squadron and get moved into his new home. I will not be able to see him for a few more weeks. It was so hard for me not to be there to see him.
What happened the next day was incredible! These WONDERFUL people all came together to welcome home my sweet son! After a long day on the Market floor walking and talking ( it can be very exhausting) they came, sat on the floor, and made the most beautiful sign I have ever seen! I am so incredibly grateful to them all! Then...it HIT ME HARD! I saw them making the letters, I processed for a bit and then, I started shaking. It was real...he IS HOME! And , of course, I had been taking photos all day so it was at that moment that I realized I had NO camera and NO iPad to document ANY of this amazing event. Jeni Baker stepped in to offer her camera for me to take photos. If these are blurry of off, it was me, not her camera. Thank you Jeni, you are AMAZING!
THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!
John Kubiniec Big Rig Quilting
Victoria Findlay-Wolfe Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts
Michele Muska Craft Art Edu
Lynn Harris The Little Red Hen
Tracy Mooney Generation Q
Lisa Sipes That Crazy Quilt Girl
Thomas Knauer Thomas Knauer Sews
Jodie Davis It's a Rubber Duckie World
Shelly Pagliai Prairie Moon Quilts
Violet Craft Violet Craft Designs
Kait Witte Cargo Collective
Rob Appell Rob Appell Designs
Sara Lawson Sew Sweetness
Lee Heinrich Freshly Pieced
Faith Jones Fresh Lemon Quilts
Angela Pingel Cut To Pieces
Ali Winston a.squared.w
Kaye Prince Miss Print
AnneMarie Gen X Quilters
Jeni Baker In color Order
Michelle Freedman, Melissa Thompson Maher, Jake Finch, Rose Hughes, Katarina Roccella and her very kind husband