If you happen to read any of the major Boston-area newspapers on December 19, 2005 you might remember this picture.

I keep a copy in my desk and look at it from time to time. It marks the end of one of the greatest challenges of my life; being separated from my husband for 18 months and facing the fear of him being hurt in combat.

My husband is a member of the Massachusett's National Guard, and had volunteered the previously year to join a unit being sent to Iraq. Our family waited patiently for his return, amidst stories of mortar & rocket attacks, long days of convoys, and long periods of time where we were unable to hear from or speak to him.

When he emerged from the bus after this ordeal I was waiting in the cold december morning air, freezing because I was determined to look adorable rather than warm for our first reunion since his 2-week leave. We held onto each other for sooo long, and I can still feel that rush of joy when I see him every day. I just want to share this so you can say you personally know someone who has served in combat, or someone who's most loved one has served. This sacrifice that my husband made has changed our lives profoundly. I do not look at even the simplest things without feel grateful that we have just another day together.

I can't say that I'll never let go of him again-our country needs men like Phil, and I knew this was his calling from the very beginning. No doubt the choices he makes in his future career will always be determined by how much he could possibly serve the community domestically or overseas (most likely the latter). But I can say that I will ALWAYS treasure the love that we have, and be grateful that we were granted by the grace of God more time together.

And of course, I finally was ready to have children.


Carole said...

We all worried and prayed right along with you while Phil was over there. So happy that you're both happy and together now.

Jen L said...

I relive the same types of moments every time I look at Dave. My favorite moment to remember was when he got off the plane for his 2 week leave. I'll never, ever forget how I felt. I'm glad the Iraq experience changed you in such a good way - it did to me too.

JessaLu said...

What a sweet story and picture :o)