This story originally appeared at InspireMore.
Jennifer Miller hasn’t been able to feel truly relaxed for the past couple of years. And who could blame her?
The Pennsylvania mom-of-two has spent her last two birthdays, Thanksgivings, and Christmases with a piece of her heart missing. She hasn’t hugged her son in years, and the sound of a phone ringing has been enough to send her into a panic.
You see, her son, Marine Cpl. Shane Miller has been stationed in Okinawa, Japan, since 2017. After graduating from Dallastown Area High School and enlisting in the Marine Corps, Miller was whisked off on a two-year deployment to Asia. Since then, the now 23-year-old and his mom have only been able to talk every other month. Jennifer has missed him terribly.
“I knew he was taken care of,” Jennifer said, “But when that phone would ring at an odd hour of the day, your heart drops because you don’t know if it was a good call or a bad call.”
It’s all the worried mom could do to keep herself busy.
But it hasn’t all been bad. Jennifer’s had some good times, too — like in June, when she got the chance to throw a ceremonial first pitch at a York Revolution game to honor her son. Little did she know the surprise of a lifetime was waiting just behind the catcher’s mask.
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After Jennifer threw the ball, it ended up bouncing out of the catcher’s mitt. “I thought it was a bad pitch, so I was going to shake the catcher’s hand and say ‘sorry,’” she recalled.
But as the catcher walked toward her, removing his mask and sunglasses, she stopped dead in her tracks. It couldn’t be.
She stared, shocked, into her son’s bright eyes before the truth settled in. Her baby was home!
“Then I was flooded with emotion,” Jennifer added. “I grabbed ahold (of him) and held on for dear life because it was hard to believe it was actually him.”
What a relief to finally have her son in her arms! We can only imagine how incredible that day felt for Jennifer and for her parents, whom Miller surprised later as well. Here’s hoping he enjoys all the rest and relaxation he can get over the next few months. He’s certainly earned it!
Watch as Jennifer hugs her son for the first time in two years below, and share this touching reunion with your friends!