Sunday, December 10, 2006

This one made me cry...and I say that in the nicest possible way...

Many of you may remember Michelle Cuthrell, a 2004 grad whose husband left for Iraq eight days after their son was born.

Take a few minutes to read her email to Michael Serino about her husband's return, and the column she wrote about the moment she first saw him after sixteen months. They're an amazing reminder of the sacrifices so many Americans are making in the name of patriotism...and of the importance of family.


From: Michelle Cuthrell
> Date: December 10, 2006 7:43:21 PM EST
> Subject: MY HUBBY IS HOME!!!
> Hey all,
> I know I promised no more mass e-mails, well, ever, but I'm
> breaking the rules because MY HUSBAND IS HOME FROM IRAQ!!! :)
> Matt returned from the longest deployment on the face of the Earth
> on Tuesday night, and we have been enjoying the most amazing family
> time ever! Check out my column about our homecoming at http://
>, and see attachments for pictures
> from the homecoming at the AHA, the first time Connor and Matt got
> to play and our first few days together as a family. You can also
> check out the News-Miner Web site ( next Friday
> for my final deployment column about reintegration. (Sidenote: Four
> different people have asked me why I'm ending my column now. Did I
> somehow forget to mention the title of my column? It's called
> "Until they come home." That means I write until they come home.
> They're home. I'm done. I'm not starting a column called "Now that
> he's back" anytime soon.)
> Many of you have sent e-mails asking how Matt is doing, how Connor
> is doing with Matt and how Matt is doing with Connor. In an act of
> God, Connor took to Matt INSTANTLY, as if he'd always been around.
> They played together all night his first night home, and they
> chummed around all day long the following day. Connor is LOVING
> having TWO playmates in the house instead of just one tired Mommy
> playmate, and he doesn't even flinch when I hand him to Matt. All
> day yesterday he was even reaching his arms out to Matt when I was
> holding him. Of course, Daddy cheats and gives him treats to win
> over his affection, so I don't let my feelings get hurt when Connor
> wants to go to Daddy. Matt had to buy his love in veggie puffs and
> afternoon snacks. I earned it in emergency room visits and
> sleepless nights. :)
> I joke, but Matt is really doing so well with CJ. He's such a
> natural dad, and so good with him. They roughhouse between naps and
> "walk" through the house. They play pattycake on the floor and
> airplane in the sky. CJ lets Matt put him down for all his naps,
> and even smiles when Matt changes his diapers, which, you know,
> increases Matt's Daddy rating by about 500 points. (Hey, I have
> changed 6-8 diapers a day for more than 240 days, or anywhere
> between 1440 and 1920 diapers. I don't feel bad about handing off
> the duty for a few days, so don't start pulling out the "Poor Matt,
> he just came home from Iraq and Michelle is already putting him on
> diaper duty." After battling insurgents for 483 days, diaper duty
> is like a privilege! Really, I'm honoring him. I wouldn't want him
> to feel useless upon returning home!)
> And Matt, well, he is the same old Matt--more aware, more outgoing
> and more adventurous in his food choices (he eats pineapple now!
> Where was he on that one during pregnancy?!)--but the same fun,
> adorable, chiding, amazing man I said goodbye to 16 months ago.
> He's just a little more tired from a 12-hour time zone change and a
> five-day flight home with little sleep, but I think he's finally
> starting to get on a regular schedule. He slept until 4am this
> morning, which is an improvement over the 2am "Let's go watch a
> movie! Come play! Come play!" wakeup calls I've gotten the last
> three nights in a row.
> But really, I don't care. We've had so much fun, and I absolutely
> LOVE that I CAN wake up to my husband at 2am and get dragged out of
> bed to go watch another episode of CSI or Smallville. My heart is
> healed, and my family is whole. I really cannot remember a happier
> week in my entire life.
> Thank you so much for all your support, prayers and encouragement
> over the last 16 months, for both of us. You have been such a
> source of strength. God bless you, and enjoy your families. You
> have no idea just how long you will get to enjoy that precious,
> precious time. Make the most of it.
> Much love,
> Matt, Michelle and CJ


Anonymous Mike Slepian, I.C. '71 said...

I loved reading Michele Cuthrell's blog, especially since our son Adam just returned from a year of duty as an infantry officer in Iraq.

He arrived "home" to Fort Hood, Texas and a few days later, on the day before Thanksgiving, which was also my wife's birthday, he came home to New Jersey for a brief, wonderful visit with family and friends. It was a great gift for my wife, our daughter Rachel, I.C. '02 and me!

Mike Slepian, TV-R '71

9:08 PM  

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