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To all the servicemen and women who have fought to keep our country free and the stars and stripes flying proudly from sea to shining sea….

….I salute you.

I salute your sacrifice and your valor and your overwhelming courage in the face of grave danger and almost insurmountable odds.

You are what makes this country great.

Truly.

And I reserve a little piece of my heart for all those you leave behind.  The ones who wait patiently for your return.  So to celebrate Memorial Day, I’m sharing this story again about the perfect pose…..

….and the sailor who almost missed it. 🙂

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A long time ago in a land far away….I fell in love with a sailor.

I’m not really sure what I expected, but I thought that being married to a sailor would be just like in the movies.

Didn’t you see all those movies where the sailors and their wives always meet at the club on base and drive around in convertibles and have parties with amazing hors d’oeuvres and the wives bake cookies together wearing glittered headbands and wait for their husbands to come home from a weekend trip on the ship.

I found out being married to a sailor was kind of like that.

Except we didn’t really bake cookies or wear headbands.  And we ate pizza at our parties and met at McDonald’s for burgers and fries because we couldn’t afford the club.  And my husband didn’t just leave for the weekend…..

…..he went out to sea for seven months.

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I remember when he first told me he had to leave for seven long eternal months, I explained patiently that he must not have heard it right.  He must be mistaken.  I told him in all the sailor movies I’d ever seen, no one ever went out to sea on a ship for seven months.

And he smiled and kissed me and told me I would be alright and two weeks later he was gone.

At first I cried.

Then I got mad and I promptly parked myself on the couch for days on end and ate brownie sundaes and watched old episodes of 90210.  And somewhere between Brandon and Brenda arriving at the new high school and Kelly and Steve breaking up and getting back together again…..

….I got inspired.

Over the next seven months……I had my hair highlighted and went to the salon for the most beautiful pointed red acrylic nails you have ever seen and had my eyebrows waxed and stopped eating brownie sundaes and started running and went on a diet….

….and lost 40 pounds.

I looked amazing.

Seriously.

Ah…ma…zing.

Just like in the movies.

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And before I knew it my husband was on his way home.  Excitedly, my amazing new self and I planned the most incredible  meet-your-husband-when-he-arrives-home-after-you’ve-lost-40-pounds outfit.

It was purple.

This wonderful rich shade of purple and it was cut to down to here and cut up to there with matching 4-inch purple heels.  And I practiced wearing my new outfit in front of the mirror….until I had the perfect pose.  If I held my stomach in just so and put my hand on my hip and turned slightly to the right with my legs crossed and I kind of made this fish face to make my cheekbones stick out….

….I totally looked even skinnier.

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The day I was to meet him finally arrived.  I was there an hour and a half early and I found the perfect place to stand in all my purple dress glory.  The sailors began to arrive and as they walked off one by one, I searched the crowd for his face.

Suddenly, I saw him.  There he was.

I almost couldn’t breathe…..as I steadfastly held my pose.

Willing him to look at me.

Willing him to be amazed.

Closer and closer he came.  Walking toward me briskly lugging a giant backpack in a crisp white uniform and shiny black shoes.   Valiently, I held on to my pose for dear life.  Slowly his eyes scanned the crowd, searching patiently for me and just as I was sure he was about to sweep me into his arms….

….he walked right past where I stood.

*sigh*

He didn’t even recognize me in all my purple glory.

Until I said his name.  And hopped around and finally broke my perfect pose to run right where I had dreamed of for seven long self-improving months…..

…..right into his arms. :)

Naval Training Center

PS  I wish I had a picture of that purple dress to show you…..

…..but from this picture you can get the whole….”miss your husband….can’t wait to see him” idea. :)

Comments

  1. Image for Yvonne Yvonne

    Karianne, you just have to write a book! And enclose a hankie with it! I love your funny, poignant stories always told with a wink in your eye. If you ever travel to Michigan we must have coffee together (or a brownie sundae)!

  2. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Love your stories, as always, Kari Anne - you have such a great way with words and know exactly how to pull our heartstrings. Hope you and your sailor and your sweet children have a wonderful Memorial Day!

  3. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Awe! Love love love stories! Hug your sailor from my bunch for keeping us safe! God bless our heroes and their families especially Those that can no longer hug the neck of their hero.

  4. Image for Kimberly Kimberly

    Karianne, your writing is always beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. Happy Memorial Day and thank your Sailor for his service.

  5. Image for Patty Patty

    I agree that a book of your stories needs to be published - have long thought that and...I think including a hanky is a fabulous idea. What a wonderful gift it would be for my friends and, of course, from me to me with love!

  6. Image for Marilyn Starnes Marilyn Starnes

    I am NOT saying this to be ugly, just for clarification. My husband is a veteran also, and I am proud of all of our Veterans, but VETERANS DAY is when we honor living veterans - today is MEMORIAL DAY when we honor the veterans who have died in the line of service. We seem to confuse the two days.

    1. Image for Heidi Heidi

      Thank you for pointing this out....unfortunately it is a VERY common mistake. From a veteran, who's married to a disabled veteran, who's father, brother, sister in-law and father-in-law, are veterans.

  7. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Priceless! Thank you for allowing me a view....I felt as though I was cheering for you on the sidelines and of course, with a camera in hand to capture that moment for the newspaper and magazine cover... And please tell your wonderful sailor...thank you from the bottom of my heart...❤️ Happy Memorial Day!

  8. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Whether it's Veterans Day or Memorial Day doesn't matter. We need to honor our veterans everyday, no matter what. As a nation we need to do all we can to show our support and appreciation.

  9. Image for Mary Mary

    Love your story. Betsy said it right. We need to honor and support ALL veterans every day of the year. We owe them so much for our freedom and they serve without asking anything from us. God Bless ALL veterans. I love you so much.

  10. Image for Pat Pat

    Karianne, oh what a wonderful story, wish ours was that kind of excitement. My excitement was short as he called and told me to go to his Mom's and get some street clothes he would be on a flight that next day. I was so excited as I wasn't suppose to tell anyone not even his Mom & Dad. So off to the farm I go for the clothes as if they didn't know something was up. Next day hadn't slept all night in the excitement to see him after 18 months and found my way to the airport. I was so afraid I wouldn't recognize him and would miss him I looked in every soldiers face. And finally there he was, so happy and grateful he was alive and not injured as so many of his buddies were. Today being Memorial Day we have so many to thank for our freedom, all I can say is Thank you Lord for bring him home to me and thank you to all of the servicemen and women for protecting our country.

  11. Image for Mary Mary

    Karianne, you ARE my absolute favorite! I look forward to having my quiet time and reading your thoughts. You are wonderfully gifted. With both my dad and brother in the Navy, I saw this from a different perspective. Thanks to all who served and still serve this Country, we a so very grateful. Mary

  12. Image for Gloria Sheldon Gloria Sheldon

    I've read this before...parts of it anyway. I don't remember the purple outfit part but I know the "I fell in love with a sailor" part. I love tou telling the story again and again and again. I hope you post it again next year. I read your blog a lot but id forgotten this wonderful story. When I awoke today first thing I thought if was "it's Memorial Day, thank you soldiers, thank you my son in law, God Bless you all." Also said to myself, "God I hope you're reading my mind cause I'm still too tired to speak because of all my projects inspired by YOU. (Ha) This is an appropriate story for Memorial Day but it is also a beautiful love story. Creatively written, inspiring, makes me cry yet happy all at the same time. Love your blog girl. HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY. Such a sweet story!

  13. Image for Jonell Harrison Jonell Harrison

    WOW and thank you! Loving that flag on the RED BARN~ I MARRIED A SAILOR TOO...on June 21, 1959 and while his commitment to the USN was not lifelong his /our commitment to each other was...until his leaving August 18, 2013. Love your Sailor boy story...inspires me to share my own with this focus..THANK YOU!

  14. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    *sigh* I truly love happy endings. Today I was looking at some homecomings and I was sobbing!! The soldier holding his wife after all that time. The soldier holding his baby for the first time. The soldier holding his children after what must have seemed a century. The soldier greeting the parents who prayed every night for his or her safe return. And then I watched the flag draped caskets and I just couldn't believe there were so many unselfish men, women, and families giving up so much for this country. My hubby was a flyboy, my son was a sailor and now he's in the Army. I can't say enough about their courage. My love and prayers go out to all of them and their families.

  15. Image for Lynn in Florida Lynn in Florida

    Homecoming stories are so awesome...especially when told by our ultra gifted writer, Karianne! Please thank your sailor with the twinkling eyes for being one of America's finest. And say a prayer for the many, many families who never got their storybook homecoming. The nation your loved ones gave their lives for is eternally grateful.

  16. Image for Sandy Sandy

    My husband, a Marine vet, and I went to a beautiful ceremony this afternoon at the assisted living where my dad, age ninety-five, has lived the past ten years. So honored to see four other World War II vets, one is one hundred one and is so spry. I have been so blessed to have a father who shared his journey with his three children and eight grandchildren. He visited and spoke to students in my children's history classes and took lots of questions thirty years ago. God bless all U.S. Military who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

  17. Image for Peg Peg

    Kah, you are too cute for words! That story never gets old, ever. Are the pics of your property? Love the barn and the buntings on the porch, as well as the finials. Happy Memorial Day friend! : )

  18. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    I think being married to a sailor would be like being a single person for x amount of months a year and when you have children you are a single parent for x amount of months but it works for many and that is all that matters as they are serving their country and we should be proud of them

  19. Image for Sherry Fisher Sherry Fisher

    Having been a military wife for 24 years, I remember lots of lonely months raising my children alone, but loved it all the same. Lots of great memories!

  20. Image for Anne Anne

    I just love your stories! I am sure if he had been looking properly he would have seen the ultimate pose, must have just been the excitement of finally being back on home soil. What a wonderful story and you are just the most amazing storyteller!

  21. Image for Linda Linda

    When Jim came back from Desert Storm, I wore purple with shiny gold shoes. I could describe it exactly and how I felt when he rounded the exit door and the sirport in Fayetteville. One of the best days of our lives! Linda

  22. Image for Julia Julia

    This is one of my favorite Karianne stories. So glad your sailor made it home! Prayers for those still waiting for their sailors to return.

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