My husband missed our sons Birthday. He didn’t get to see the kids in their Halloween costumes this year. He missed Thanksgiving. He will miss seeing the sparkle of our lights and their excited glowing faces on Christmas morning. We will ring in the New Year without him.
The list goes on and on….special moments he misses because he is serving our country.
If you are a military family, this is nothing new to you. It becomes the norm to not have daddy cheering for you at your basketball games. He won’t be there for parent teacher conferences and not for your preschool graduation. They don’t even ask if he will be coming for parents night because he has never been there.
Sadly, we are used to this lifestyle.
It’s not easy.
But, we are strong.
We make it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’m not asking for sympathy at all.
This is just our life and part of me being open through this blog is sharing as much of my life as I can with you.
Last month, the kids and I traveled (alone) to the mainland for my father in-laws funeral. My husband was out to sea and only heard of the news of his fathers passing a few days before the funeral. By Gods grace, it worked out for him to meet us for the funeral. We had a short 3 days together and then back out he went to serve and protect.
I’ll never forget the feeling that overtook my body when I overheard a conversation while we sat in the airport during that trip. A lady was talking about Thanksgiving and how upset she was that her WHOLE FAMILY was going to be together. She complained about how so and so always acted a certain way and how another family member always got on her nerves.
It took all of my strength to hold back my tears.
You know how much I would give to have the opportunity to have my WHOLE FAMILY gathered up for a holiday like that? So many times, we go without. So many holidays are spent with just the kids and I. Sometimes, it’s the four of us. But, it’s very rare that we get to be with our entire family.
I was too hurt by her words to confront her. But, inside, my heart was screaming at her, “don’t you realize how blessed you are? Don’t you appreciate you have this opportunity to be together?”
This experience has made me realize how easy it is to take the little things for granted.
I know I’m guilty of this in some areas too. It’s so easy to focus on the negative to the point where we don’t see the big picture. I remember holidays where someone got on my nerves just as she was saying. But, overall, I was able to have the holiday with my family. My whole family gathered together around a meal. Oh, how I would give anything for that now.
How badly I long for that feeling of love and comfort that only family can provide. We’ve given up that experience for our family for now. But, you can guarantee, when things change and we go back to civilian life, we will make it our priority to make that family time happen! We know what it feels like to go without and it won’t happen if we can prevent it!
If you are blessed this year and will be spending time with your family over the holidays, all I ask is that you take a moment and think of the military families who will be spending their holidays apart.
Pray for us.
The day-to-day sacrifices, I have learned to handle gracefully. Christmas is a tough one though.
Pray for our strength.
My husbands strength.
Our kids’ strength.
Also, go into the holidays with gratefulness in your heart. Appreciate that annoying family member no matter how bad they are. Appreciate the long traveling you must do to get there. Appreciate the smile that it puts on your face and those around you.
Just appreciate it. All of it. The good. Even the bad.
Today marks the beginning of Advent. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas. Enjoy all that the season brings us!
As we say in Hawaii, Mele Kalikimaka!
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