December 2, 2012

Home Sweet Home

When Miles and I first got married we lived in an apartment in Clarksville, Tennessee while stationed at our first duty assignment located in Fort Campbell, Kentucky (for those not affiliated with the Army - Ft. Campbell is on the TN/KY border). We didn't live there long before we both deployed to Afghanistan and within a month of returning the following year, we moved again - Miles to Fort Benning, Georgia and me to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Miles deployed again almost immediately (for only a few months this time) and the timing was actually good as I was in school (captains career course) in South Carolina so we were already going to be separated. I finished the career course a week after Miles came back from Afghanistan. When I moved down to Georgia we had been married for 28 months. We had lived together for seven. So needless to say, it was wonderful to be under the same roof.

That roof was our first house which I've talked about here. I miss that house and the memories created in it, but the Army definitely teaches you that no matter where you are, as long as you are with those you love, you can make it home. I don't really want to test that theory on places like Fort Polk, Louisiana, and kind of feel like we are paying our dues here in central Texas, but hey, it could be worse.

We definitely made our house in Georgia a home. And I think we're managing to do the same here. Recently, I hung something special in our home and I wanted to share. When we closed on the house in Georgia, we received a needlepoint with the following letter from Miles' mom:

. . . . . . . . . . . . 
Dear Miles and Caroline,       
The following story is true. 

     On a cold October evening in 1983 the Duty Train pulled into the station in Berlin, Germany. The Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 6th Infantry Brigade were returning from a field training exercise in the zone. Several of the troops were ill. Within days, two battalion wives mysteriously miscarried. I was called to come to the hospital ASAP, my unborn child of three months and I were at risk. We were put in isolation in a hyper-oxygenated room with an antibiotic IV, IV, oxygen, fetal monitors, heart and blood pressure monitors, and warming booties (my feet were cold). For days we stayed in isolation. My husband, Jorge, and young son, Jared, visited occasionally waving from the glass window across the room. I passed the hours reading, praying, and working on a needlepoint kit. The kit was done with each stitch taken in deliberate hope. The kit title was "Home Sweet Home." We were discharged when risk passed. I framed and hung the work above our crib, anxious to bring my baby home. 

     Our child was born healthy on April 13, 1984. He had an unusual birthmark on his tummy shaped like a kiss. The nurses and I knew that was where the Angel kissed him six months before. He would not go to Heaven early but would go home safe. The embroidery has hung in all our homes since. It is yours now. May you both always come home safe and believe each house you make your home is Home Sweet Home. 


The needlepoint and the letter are hanging in our current home, side-by-side.
. . . . . . . . . . . . 

And because I'm the best wife ever, and Miles is in the field (again!) and unable to stop me, I went in search of a picture of him without a shirt on to showcase said birthmark. I threw an arrow on there because I knew it'd be hard to focus on the task at hand with adorable 11 month old Finn in the picture. But can you see his lip shaped birthmark? I love it. And I love it even more knowing the full story behind it.

Wherever we are - as long as I've got these guys, I know it will be Home Sweet Home.



  1. Caroline, I love it. The whole thing. Just love it.

  2. That story is amazing. And so are the two guys who make your house a home.

  3. That story is wonderful, Caroline. Gave me chills!

  4. Cute! I've never heard that story. Also you better start loving Texas since you WILL be living there forever with us :)

  5. What an amazing story--very sweet, indeed!

  6. Wow, I didn't see that coming as Miles! love your home sweet home <3

  7. What a wonderful story. How very special. Love you all.

  8. What a wonderful story. How very special. Love you all.