Monday, December 01, 2008

Holiday Sacrifices

As I am writing this post, I am sitting in my living room with the lights off, watching the lights of our Christmas tree cast a calm, peaceful glow over the rest of the room already decorated with snowmen, our needlepoint stockings that mom made when we little, the ceramic nativity that mom painted ages ago, and a collection of angels gathered over the years. My mom and I pulled box after box of Christmas decorations out this past weekend. My brother and I insisted that all of our old stuff be put out, right in the exact same spot. The big snowman right next to the entertainment center. The little wooden tree I made in 7th grad shop class in the bathroom. The reindeer we made from wooden spoons and cotton balls. Every single thing is a memory that transports us back in time. My brother and I have had the luxury of spending Christmas after Christmas for the past 22 years in the same house. As we were decorating we were reminiscing and laughing. I have so many wonderful childhood memories from this time of year, but thats a post for another day.

Earlier today I heard this song, my eyes became watery.


I've heard this before, but never really got it. This year it hits a little bit closer to home. My oldest step-brother is currently deployed in the Middle East as a member of the US Army. His wife and two little girls are in Texas. I don't know my step-siblings very well but through email, Facebook, and an occasional visit that's slowly changing. What I've learned about my step-brother is that not only is he serving our country but his entire family is a well. His wife who is one of the most patient people I know, who stays at home with a three year old and an eight month old trying to keep life as normal as possible for the oldest daughter who doesn't quite understand the great service her father is doing. His three year old wears her dad's old dog tags around her neck so she has a part of him close to her heart. His wife who goes weeks without hearing a word about how he is doing and isn't even quite sure which city he is in. The family who packs up their entire house and moves wherever the orders send them next without complaint. While his wife and children spend Christmas with her parents in Colorado, my stepbrother will be the soldier in the poem patrolling a border in a distant country, maybe not sleeping in a bed, not watching his children open their presents on Christmas morning.

This holiday season while I am stressing about finding the perfect gift, making just the right cookies, and sitting here in my living room all comfy, cozy, enjoying the Christmas decorations, and spending time with my mom, brother and stepdad; there are thousands of soldiers deployed all around the world who are sacrificing that comfort, soldiers whose families are sacrificing a holiday spent with their loved one hoping that maybe next year they can all be together. Please take a moment or two this holiday season to remember those who are making those holiday sacrifices. If while you are doing your holiday shopping or flying to spend time with your family you see a solider, go up to them and thank them for their service and sacrifices, its a simple gesture they will appreciate more than you know.

12 comments:

AntonucciFamily said...

Very well said, thank you for the reminder! I will be saying prayers for all the soldiers and for your stepbrother in particular.

Nilsa said...

It's so easy to get caught up in our own worlds that we forget to appreciate all the creature comforts around us. Thank you for this reminder of what others are experiencing this holiday season.

MeLaNiE said...

I'm sitting here crying. Such an amazing video. They sacrifice so much, and yet, so many people take it for granite. Praying for your family! I know how it is. My brother was in service until a couple of years ago.

LBluca77 said...

Oh that brought tears to my eyes. I think it is so easy to forget that there are so many people that sacrafice thier life for others.

Also, I have needlepoint stocking too that my mom made for my whole family. It is still one of my favorite christmas things.

chickbug said...

a wonderful reminder. sometimes I feel removed from the war because I don't have anyone close to me in military. like Nilsa said, it is so easy to get caught up in your own world.

Coconut said...

My BF is in the reserves and he's almost out. I'm so glad he hasn't been deployed again, I don't know how I would handle it. Definitely not as well as your step-brother's wife.

Jess said...

Wow, I'll keep your brother in my prayers. Thanks for the little reminder. It's easy to forget that not everyone is as lucky as us to spend Christmas in a warm home with loved ones.

Bayjb said...

Thank you very much for this. It's nice to remember the important thing in life, outside of the gifts and those we are thankful for.

Auburn Kat said...

You are absolutely right! It is important to remember about our troops fighting for our country overseas.

Mandy said...

Thank you all for your kind words and prayers.

Susan said...

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Little Fish said...

Lovely post! We should all remember to keep our men and women in uniform and their families in our hearts, not just during the holidays, but always!