Friday, December 27, 2013

What He Hasn't Missed

I think it's common knowledge by now that Soldiers miss a lot in their families' lives. Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, school events... Politicians talk about the "empty chair at the table" like they've personally sat beside one of those empty chairs and know what they're talking about. (Note: some politicians do actually know how this feels, but I think I'm safe in saying that's a minority.)

Anyway, that's pretty common knowledge.

It's easy to sink into that blue feeling, looking ahead at 2014. It would be very easy to think about what he'll miss this time around, what things I will be alone for, what things the kids won't have their father close by for, etc. If I'm not careful, that line of thinking can become very depressing, very fast.

Yeah, it's true he'll miss a lot. And there's a lot I'll be doing solo. But that ignores a very important fact, one I told my best friend 20 years ago when she asked how I could handle him being gone so much: "I'd rather him in my life when he can be, than not have our life together at all."

I started a different line of thinking today, to help me focus on what is more important. What he hasn't missed, what he's been here for, and what matters most.

He's been here for me through two surgeries, one minor and one more serious. He took care of me after both.

He's been here to help get our yard totally landscaped. You'd never guess, looking at his work, what this house looked like the day we moved in. He's even set it up so I can plant one last rose bush once he's gone, because we just haven't found the right one yet. (Ask me about the hole in the ground.)

He's been here to see our oldest graduate from 8th grade and from high school.

He taught her how to drive.

He has seen her first apartment, and met her first after-high-school boyfriend.

He took care of everything (EVERYTHING) while I was away this summer, caring for my mother. And then he drove us 14 hours to go back there to help her move.

He saw our Little G finish elementary school.

He put up the tree this year, all by himself, so I would find it lit and gorgeous when I got home from work. All we had to do was hang ornaments.

He puts out Christmas lights, each year a little more elaborate, whenever he's home.

He helped choose and care for our first tree in this yard. (And decorated it with a few pitiful lights that first year.)

He's rescued kittens from our back yard.

He's taken care of pests in that same back yard (including wasps, for which I cannot thank him enough).

He's cleaned and cooked and cared in every possible way that a husband and father can - which is why, this year, I will not be focused on what he's missing. I'll be taking photos and sending him notes and helping him "not miss" it so much.

Our Soldiers sacrifice a hell of a lot for this country. The least I can do is keep my focus on what is right, instead of painful, about being married to this one.


  1. That's a great way to think of it. Thinking negatively is all too easy sometimes.

    1. Thanks, Kara. My #1 resolution this year is to fight to remain positive.