Holiday deployments are the worst. Even though there are many family members who are with you and safe–or with someone else and safe, your mind can’t stop wandering back to the one who is in harm’s way.
The joy of the holidays was still there–I mean with so many grandchildren, how could it not be? And our daughter in law and granddaughter were part of our celebration. So we all banded together and did what we do…just like so many families of deployed military did this holiday season. As so many have done for holiday seasons since the beginning of time.
We ate, shared gifts, laughed, ate some more, shopped, ate, and enjoyed being together. Did I mention we ate a lot? But there was always something missing. There was turkey at Thanksgiving, ham at Christmas, and fire crackers on New Year. There were tons of gifts under the family tree. There were church services and kids’ school programs.
What was missing? Our son in a land far away who wears the uniform that stands for our freedom was not here. Not only did we wish he was with us, but we hoped he wouldn’t miss the festivities at home too much. Luckily, as at all military bases, they create their own little families by sticking together and finding some fun in a desolate land. As you can see from the photo, they managed to find some time for goofing off and laughing. This photo helped me.
We also sent him a small Christmas tree, which we could see in the background whenever we were able to Skype with him, and some small presents. On Christmas Day he was able to reach us when we were all together so everyone got a chance to speak with him and say Merry Christmas–although, by that time, Christmas had come and gone where he was.
That is how I coped with his absence–spending time finding little stupid things to send to make him laugh, gathering things we knew he needed to send to him, a text here, a Skype discussion there, and having the family together that could be here.
I know lots of heroic moms and wives who do so much more–sending dozens of cards and care packages to people they don’t know…just hoping to brighten a soldier’s day. God bless them.
Thank you, Mason, and all our troops who guard us while we work, play, and sleep safely here at home. I am praying you all come home safe and sound soon.