“Do you really have to go?” I already knew the answer, but I couldn’t hold back my desperation any longer.
My Beloved had been given his TDY orders – Temporary Duty Yonder – he had to go away for work for a while. Such is life in the military.
“He won’t be able to come home for Thanksgiving,” I had told our boys.
“Then there will be nothing to be thankful for!” wailed one of our sons while the others pouted.
I had explained to them that we really did have so very much to be thankful for – he would be safe and sound on this side of the world on Thanksgiving, and not flying over the mountains of Afghanistan looking for bad guys. They agreed with me, but our moods were still pretty low.
“How will we get our Christmas tree this year?” It is a favorite tradition of the boys’, to go pick out our Holiday tree with their Daddy Joe, but I did my best to reassure them that I would find us an awesome tree that we could decorate to surprise him when he gets home.
“Be sure to help your mom. I love you guys. I’ll miss you!” He hugged each of our boys, and then he turned to me. With a tender kiss, we said goodbye. The boys and I watched, waved, and blew kisses as he started on his journey.
He was heading to his temporary change of duty, and I turned away from the window to face mine. He was trading in his flight suit for his ABUs (Air Force camouflage), and it was time to wear more than just my mom hat once again. It was time to be both mom and dad, housewife and mechanic, homework checker and handyman, Christmas cookie baker and fireplace chimney sweep. There were leaves to rake, Christmas gifts to buy, and a family to raise.
Thanksgiving encompasses so much more than just one day. As much as I would miss him when we sat down to a turkey dinner, every beat of my heart would be mindful of the blessings that we had received that year. We really did have so much to celebrate and to be thankful for in our lives.
My boots may look a little different than his, but it is time for me to pull myself up by their straps and get to work, just like him. I love that we’re a team, my Beloved and I. We’re in this crazy, beautiful, military, exhausting, blended, and wonderful life together. When he is away, he wishes that he could be here at home, and I wish more than anything that he could be here with us, too. Someday that wish will come true. There will come a long-awaited day when all TDYs, PCSs, and deployments will be behind us – and how I long for that day! Until then, I am incredibly thankful that the kindest and most selfless husband, stepdad, son, brother, friend and Beloved is out there standing guard for you…and for me.
I know that I am not the only one. To all of the other military wives out there – and to those who will be pulling double duty and keeping the hearth warm for their beloveds this Thanksgiving, my prayers are with you and my heart salutes you.
* Top photo is courtesy of Joanne Funk
* Linking up to Women Living Well Wednesdays
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