Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without thinking back on the many holidays we missed during my husbands combat deployments. The thought that comes to mind: don't forget those who serve and their families during the holidays. I know what its like this time of year to have my husband deployed. He was deployed 4 times during the holidays. For me, these were the hardest moments during those year long deployments.
Thinking back on all the memories we missed and how many Thanksgiving's I spent getting together for potlucks with fellow spouses who weren't going home for Thanksgiving, it makes me sad and thankful. I remember being with my son watching other families play together, with just a pull of sadness in my heart, wishing my husband was there. I remember too many Skype and telephone conversations with Thanksgiving wishes with a sad undertone. I remember feeling so desperately alone even though I had my son and my friends to lean on. I remember putting on my happy face counting down the days until the holidays passed and I would be "over" that. I remember asking Mav how the Thanksgiving meal was in some far off country. His reply, "It's alright. Your pie is better."
All of these thoughts and memories bring me back to a place. A dark place where too many tears were shed, too many memories lost forever. But it's also a thankful place. I am thankful for my husband, my hero, who gave so selflessly without one complaint. I am thankful to all those men and women, who are, right now, at this moment, away from their families, half enjoying their Thanksgiving meal courtesy of the United States military. Half enjoying because their other half is half a world away. I am thankful that these soldiers give so freely of themselves so my family can enjoy this day, together, finally. I am thankful for my friends whose husbands are home this year.
I am sad for all my friends whose husbands are deployed right now. I know the desperation in their Facebook plea's. I am sad for all our friends who are missing their family today. Everyone in an Army family sacrifices. Sacrifices memories, happiness, time.
Please don't forget those who serve, as you are serving your Thanksgiving meal today. Say a prayer of thanks for them and their families.
~Mav and B