fly away home….

I didn’t expect him for days
when my sister invited us to come over after work
and swim the dogs
so I headed tired and dirty for her pond
and Libby swam past the ball I threw
toward a boat
gone loose from it’s moorings
and a hat on the water
moving slowly from behind…

until a face began to emerge
and  something in the way he moved
made my knees give way
and a million thoughts log-jammed inside my head
and my voice sounded small and far away
as I breathed out

My mind
couldn’t find it’s way around
what I was seeing,
my son
coming up out of the pond,
home from war.

And just like that,  he was here.
Homecoming,  Petey style.

Words have been slow to find me
like I’ve been in a dream.
Some moments you never forget.
This was one of mine.

“Farewell for awhile,
I’m going away
but I’ll be back
though I go 10, 000 miles.”
-Mary Chapin Carpenter

I can’t think of a thank you
that sounds quite enough
like what my heart sends
for every morsel of love
and light
that helped bring him safely home.
I’m altogether grateful.




  1. Oh my, I had goosebumps reading this.
    The first sentence brought so much JOY to
    know you were talking about Peter.

    Enjoy every minute, every word, every expression, every hug, every breath, and every piece of JOY.
    Much love to you and your family.
    BTW. LOVED the photo of you!

  2. Oh this is wonderful news!! I have tears in my eyes. Enjoy!

  3. your way with words captures this moment so well

  4. Oh *Jen*!!!!!!! Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful!!!!!!!!

  5. Oh, friend! I am sitting here at my computer with tears in my eyes. He’s home. He’s safe. He’s with Mom again. THANK GOD!! So happy for you tonight.

  6. Oh, my heart stopped for a moment when I read “…and something in the way he moved made my knees give way”. I WISHED it to be your son and teared up when I read it was him. Such a perfect surprise for a waiting mother. How all of us who are mothers can relate.
    And such a beautiful photo of you, Jennifer.
    **So very happy for you**!!

  7. I’m just so excited for you. I have tears every time I read even a small amount of this! I love the pictures too.

  8. Dear God, such happy news!! I stopped reading to take time to look at the pictures and thought: Yes, yes, it’s true! So happy for you and your family 🙂 I love the pictures of you 2 together.


  9. Though I am not you,

    but I can feel how you have felt.

  10. i’m crying, dear friend. XOXOX

  11. I’m crying tears of a mother’s love and relief and joy. aahhh.

  12. Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Joy of all joys! What an amazing and wonderful surprise!!! Were you just screaming with delight? Boy, I bet you held on for dear life once you wrapped those mama arms around your boy. I am soooo sooo happy for you!!!! Big smiles here. BIG! ♡

  13. Weeping for joy with you, Jenn! I’m so grateful that God watched over him and brought him home safely.

  14. I am so, so happy for you!!

  15. Wow, what a unique homecoming. Enjoy!

  16. How absolutely wonderful!! Please thank him for his service, and thank you for sharing him.

  17. Tears of joy joining yours! What a wonderful surprise.

  18. My heart welled up and my eyes had tears-so wonderful and there are no adequate words yet you described it so aptly and movingly. Thank you for letting us glimpse this snapshot of reunion and love. So pleased for you. Blessings.

  19. This was so beautiful and awesome!!! What a homecoming!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

  20. I am so happy for you dear friend…Your heart must have leapt right out of your chest. I can just imagine how you felt xo

  21. What a wonderful day. Love Petey’s style. Your heart must have been doing cartwheels. Welcome, welcome home 🙂

  22. I could feel your mother’s heart joy from here, crying tears of gratitude right along with you my friend. So glad to see this brave young man wrapped up in your arms again, wet fatigues and all!! Your Pety has his own creative flare, what a homecoming 🙂

  23. What a beautiful post. I’m smiling and crying at the same time.

  24. I’m so happy for you! What an amazing moment that must have been when you realised who you were seeing… I am so relieved and happy to know your son is home safely He sounds full to the brim of life. Sending love and huge smiles, Em xxxx

  25. Oh, your dear mother’s heart, I am so happy for you & your son! Very moving.

  26. Tears of joy for you. Tears of gratitude. And tears of remembered relief from homecomings of my own. xoxoxo

  27. oh my…tears of the sweetness of this reunion…enjoy…drink in all the moments…blessings to you and your son…biggest thanks to him for his service to us:)

  28. My heart is so full for you! I couldn’t imagine what you have been through but and so happy he is home.

  29. wow…what an awesome way to reunite, and what a beautiful surprise! Thanks for sharing your photos along with your beautiful memory.

  30. tracy love wooten says

    CRYING!!! I see he has your element of surprise and love!! You are truely blessed!!

  31. My heart swells with your joy! My eyes swell with tears at your expression of your joy! Love you!

  32. IO have no words as I read this; just tears. Thank you SO much for sharing—definitely Petey-style homecoming!

  33. Incredible. All choked up. Can’t imagine what holding him again must have been like. Thanks for the giant heart tug today, love.

  34. Incredible. All choked up. Can’t imagine what holding him again must have been like. Thanks for the giant heart tug today, love.

  35. Jennifer, I am so happy for you! Oh my,..sigh.So touching. Oh, and by the way, your blog banner design is gorgeous! Perfect for you.

  36. Can’t read this without the tears, so grateful…so, so beautiful!

  37. Wow! Such a moving story! I am so happy for you 🙂

  38. I’m reading this with tears rolling down my cheeks. What a beautiful way to celebrate the surprise!!!

  39. Beautiful is the only word I can speak.

  40. This is so beautiful and so touching. Blessings to you and your son.

  41. Cousin Cathy says

    That definatly was a once in a lifetime moment. What a special time that both of you will remember forever. Memories are made everyday but none quite as special as that! Love to all.

  42. So special. I love the way he surprised you.

  43. oh my gosh…what a fantastic, crazy surprise!! thanks for sharing your fun and wonderful story!!

  44. Oh dear Lord, how did I miss this post?
    Prayers answered…and believe me I have been praying ….what with all the bad news out of Afgan..
    I remember when my brother returned from Viet the middle of the night…and stood in my bedroom doorway…….and I sensed it in my sleep..and awoke……to see him standing there…..
    I know this joy…this relief……of return
    Joy joy joy joy down in my heart
    down in my heart
    down in my heart
    I got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart down in my heart to stay
    for you

  45. Oh my . . . tears in my eyes reading this! What a beautiful, amazing story – and such a sweet boy to surprise you the way he did. Thanks so much for sharing . . .

  46. Oh, Jennifer, this brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet surprise – and so tricky!! I’m so happy for you. Thanks for sharing that beautiful moment with us!!

  47. Happy tears for you! What a wonderful reunion!

  48. oh my, crying happy tears for you. I can’t even imagine the unspeakable joy you must have felt. Truly awesome!

  49. How wonderful! Very moving words and pictures. x

  50. Yes…happy tears! So happy for you.

    Thank you for visiting Vision and Verb and commenting. We are happy to have you around… Drop in anytime! 😉

  51. Oh, my friend. My heart is so full of joy for you. I just sit and smile while I look at these photos and the love and joy just jumps off the screen and into my heart. So happy.

  52. Delicious photos. A pleasant surprise. Have a good weekend.

  53. I can feel every mama’s ache and your beautiful elation at the moment of realization. Undoes my heart!

  54. tears here, of course, and all out joy for you, your sweet son and each bit of family … what a special time!

  55. Oh Jennifer! this one brought tears of joy to my eyes too.

    Blessings on your son’s return and your time together.

    Breathe into the Love that sustains you and sustained him while you were apart.

    Much love and joy!

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