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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


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!


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
Kimberly Munoz
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 MaherJake Finch, Rose Hughes, Katarina Roccella and her very kind husband



jednoiglec said...

I just can't imagine what you felt when your son was so far away in dangerous place...
But the welcome event was so lovely! You've got great friends!

Unknown said...

This was the most amazing experience. Emotional in many ways. Quilts are the best way to express our thanks to Michael, and to his parents for taking care of us. I think we've started the next Flash Mob: A Quilt Mob!

Shirley in Canada said...

This totally awesome!!!
Welcome home, Michael!

needle and nest said...

What a wonderful story. I love the sign and I'm so happy for you that your son is home safe. My brother was in the Army and had several deployments to Iraq. The waiting is just so hard!

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

What an awesome bunch of collaborators - does he even know how much talent you mustered!!!??

Ella said...

I'm so glad he got home safely....and yay for quilty welcomers!

Live a Colorful Life said...

Such an incredible story! I had meant to email and ask if you were having 12 wt Aurifil for sample spree and I was going to have someone get some for me, but I knew this was going on and you did not need one more question to answer. Happy he is home!

Gidget said...

This made me tear up!
just awesome...
Please Tell Michael Welcome Home and Thank you for protecting us!

Granny Maud's Girl said...

I know you were sad to miss his homecoming, but making that sign looks like such a fun afternoon.

TakeMeThereTotes said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I am truly moved by this group of great quilting friends. I love the sign and the creative quilty letters.

Welcome Home, Michael! and Thank You for serving our great country.

Unknown said...

This made me cry. . .I went through 3 deployments with my middle son and they were excruciating! Welcome home Michael and thanks for your service to our country!

margaret said...

there will not be a dry eye in the house when people are reading this blog. So good to have your Dear Son home and safe and those girls how wonderful they are to help, hope you see him soon.

Abby@ ColorBarQuilts said...

Kim, So glad your son is home safe. Thank you for sharing your story.

Marcia R. said...

big tears. And I'm at work... Thank God your son is home safe, and how thankful I am to be part of a community that has the biggest heart. Quilters are the best people.

Nita said...

Oh my goodness, I am all verklempt! What a wonderful story!

Katy Cameron said...

Aww, sorry I missed the shout out, but what a fab job they did, and welcome home to him :o)

Unknown said...

So happy for you that he is home safe! An amazing story of support and friendship ;) Please thank him for his service <3

Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs said...

Welcome home to your son - please thank him for his service, thank you for your support and sacrifice! I'm a milspouse, daughter, sister and cousin, so I can completely relate to how experiencing deployment is different for every family member. My MIL took my husband's deployments a lot harder than I did, and now that I have kids of my own, I can see why. We were at Ft Campbell last and miss it - hope he likes it there! Enjoy your time with him when you see him : )

Michele said...

Wow. That just goes to prove again that quilters are some of the most amazing people ever.

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