December 25, 2004

CHRISTMAS

Before I go downstairs to watch Rudolph and open my presents, I wanted to write a little about what Christmas means this year.

What does Christmas mean this year?

For me, the best part about Christmas is giving presents, and since there's no one else in the house, I don't get to watch anyone open anything. That's a real bummer. The second best part is when Dad makes pancakes, but I don't get any of those either. So what do I get this Christmas?

I get the tranquility of knowing that my husband is safe and sound. He's made it ten and a half months with nothing worse than some close calls, and his work in Iraq is almost complete. I know that somewhere in Iraq there's a little tree covered in funny ornaments inside a very messy cormex, and that makes me smile.

I also get the satisfaction of knowing that big changes are happening in the Middle East, changes that are a direct result of American military intervention in the region. President Karzai just appointed three women to his cabinet in Afghanistan. Three women. In a country where four years ago women were forbidden to work at all. That's progress, and it's real, and it's because my own country finally intervened. You don't know how proud that makes me of my country.

This Christmas I also get the relief of knowing that we are halfway through our tour in Germany, that soon we will return home. Home, land of the Pilgrim's pride, where I'd give anything to be. I just couldn't go without my husband; I couldn't leave him in Iraq while I went to the greatest place on the planet. I have to wait it out so we can go there together, step off the plane, and know that we both are finally home.

Christmas brings a turning point in the deployment. Christmas was the furthest goal we had set for ourselves, the last milestone before redeployment.

We're almost there.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:01 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 Merry Christmas Sarah. May the days until that goal is reached pass quickly and safely.

Posted by: Tink at December 25, 2004 04:25 AM (S6VXg)

2 Merry Christmas Sarah....I wanted to let you know you were in my thoughts today (especially). You leave me speechless, again. You are an amazing woman!

Posted by: Tammi at December 25, 2004 08:59 AM (QSZLe)

3 Merry Christmas from Maryland. I have to agree with you that I live in the best country in the world! Thank you and your husband for helping to make it that way. God bless and keep you.

Posted by: Retread at December 25, 2004 09:55 AM (+7VNs)

4 Sarah, I read your blog because your situation is so similar to mine. My husband, son and I were stationed overseas also. This past summer, my son and I were ordered out of the country we were living in, because of heightened terrorism threats. We, and the other families, have settled back in the States, leaving our military members behind. So, this Christmas, like yours, I spend alone. My son is visiting his bio-dad, my husband is working in a land far away and I am away from family. It helps to read your account and your hope. Thank you.

Posted by: Debbie (U.S. Navy Wife) at December 25, 2004 08:46 PM (FHZDM)

5 I have faith you're going to make it through your tour just fine. I think you'll find a new awe when you come back to America. The rest of the world may have some pretty places and some good people, but there is just something special about our home. You and your husband are a big part of what makes it special. Thank you.

Posted by: Silk at December 25, 2004 11:25 PM (XNMB6)

6 Sarah: A late Merry Christmas from an old Marine wife who has lived through more deployments and year-long unaccompanied tours than she cares to remember. I don't know how old you are, or how long you're been married, but we've been together 27 years now. He's still on the road a lot, he still works long hours, our kids are grown up now and long gone. I don't think he'll EVER get out of the Marine Corps... (sigh...) But it's all been worth it. We're still in love, just as much (if not more) than on that day in 1976 when I first met him. Boy does THAT date me And he still loves his country, and the Corps. And as long as that continues to be the case, he has my support. And I want to thank you for being there for your husband. It takes enormous strength not to be a whiner. So many women are, these days. So if you haven't heard it enough, please accept it from another wife who has been there: Thank you for your service to our country. And God Bless You. You probably don't want to hear it, but you serve, no less than he does. Because he depends on your strength and your support. And your respect for what he is, and what he has decided to do with his life. Because he is a warrior, and that is an honorable calling. In ancient times, matrons told their men to return with their shields, or on them. They didn't beat their breasts and smear ashes on their faces and weep and wail. They hid their tears and were proud, and they made their men proud. You are a follower in this proud tradition, and I salute you. Merry, Merry Christmas Sarah

Posted by: Cassandra at December 26, 2004 05:48 PM (289B8)

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