The Shutter Sisters' One Word Project for March is "Gather" and I cannot think of a more appropriate word to describe the month ahead with my son coming home from his post deployment leave. There will be many gatherings large and small throughout the month with family and friends.
The photo above is at my parents place, the yellow ribbon on the old oak tree that my boys love so much. Fortunately, the ribbon and the tree survived yesterday's tornado rampage.
Adam's namesake (Adam's Morning Star) is the one on the left. The other horse is named Sunny Delight was bought for Andrew. The question of ownership is mostly a moot point as these horses are actually ornamental livestock. No one actually rides them.
Adam has the entire month of March off and is currently taking the long way home with some men from his unit via Florida, Georgia, and East Tennessee to visit some of the families of their fallen brothers. Facebook posts, photos, and news articles are keeping us all up to date with their progress along this bittersweet journey.
This morning, I came across an article about a visit they made to a school in Gainesville, Florida. The school adopted their unit and sent them care packages and mail throughout their deployment. This Adopt-a-Marine program was the idea of Mike & Tammy Clark whose son, Philip, served with Adam's unit and was lost on their first deployment together. The Clarks have adopted Philip's Marine Corps brothers and vice-versa; grieving, healing and celebrating the life of the hero that they all loved.
That's my boy shaking hands with one of the students. Please forgive me if I'm just a little bit proud. :) Click on the image to read the inspiring article.
A local news station also covered the visit. Check it out here.
As the boys travel through the southeast, they are breaking off from the group one-by-one at various points and heading home to their own families. As much as we are anxious to spend time with our boys, I am sure the other families feel the way I do when it comes to sharing our boys with their "extended" families. They are our families now, too. I only wish I could be there to give them a big hug myself.
My boy will be home Monday, with his buddy Nick in tow. We are a planning a little dinner gathering for them that evening. I plan to make a lasagna which is a three day process. It has been awhile since I've made one, so I hope it turns out. Nick is Italian, so I guess it better be good!
We'll have our larger family gathering later in the month, and next week the families of the Tennessee Three will gather with other service members at New Heart Christian Church for an appreciation service and dinner.
Is there any doubt that there will be lots of "gathering" photos this month?
Speaking of gatherings, I had planned to go shoot with my new photography group this morning. However, with a hair appointment later this afternoon and all the cooking and cleaning to do, there was just no way I could cram one more thing into this weekend. It looks like the group is pretty active though, so there will be plenty of opportunities.
And with that, I better get to it! Have a great weekend all.