Perhaps I am a just a sappy kind of Dad, but I am seriously missing wrestle time with the boys, breakfast on Saturday morning at Waffle House, late night movies with the girls (if I can stay awake!), among those other special moments with the kids that can almost feel like boring routine until you aren’t able to experience them. I am as technologically savvy as they come but haven’t found a way just yet to beam myself into the living room every evening!
As I shared on the blog a couple of weeks ago, Amy sent me a DVD that has a montage of our recent family photos put to music (something we gave as a Christmas gift to some of our close family). So far, I haven’t made much progress in my tolerance for being able to watch it. I think the fact that I still have 5 months to go reminds me too much that I just left. I am optimistic though that once I get over the hump (perhaps month 3 or 4?), watching it will remind me that I am coming home soon, so it will become a plus to view it! In a strange way, I think my tolerance for being able to watch the family video has become a proxy for a calendar of sorts of how many months are left.
Having said that, a good friend of mine, Rob Wainner, just sent me a photo from what seems like many years ago of Lauren when she was perhaps 2 years old. Amy, please don’t crucify me if I missed it by a year or 2! Lauren now 11, it seems like just yesterday that his daughter Bethany (now a grown woman) was taking Emma and Lauren under her tutelage almost like they were living dolls. Now a full 9 years later….where did the time go! Before we know it, moments turn into years. The whole phase of seconds turning into minutes, minutes into hours, and hours into days seems to be skipped altogether. Thinking about my deployment from that perspective, 5 months to go will pass by in the blink of an eye!
To my dear wife, Amy, Happy Valentine’s Day! I know every man (or at least I hope so) thinks their wife is the best wife in the world. However, I am a card carrying member of the authentic and bona fide “best wife on Earth”. She "gave up" a career as a fighter pilot (I have no doubt in my mind she would have been the first female Thunderbird pilot given the path she was on while at USAFA) to be "just" an insignificant wife and Mom to 5 children, the legacy of which will reverberate for generations to come and on into eternity in heaven (not so insignificant and the understatement of all time). Marriage is a sacred gift from God, the depth and breadth of which simply can’t be replicated by any other human relationship. The pain of being away reminds me of how much I miss her. However, these months apart will only make us grow fonder as we learn to cherish the seconds, minutes, and days together as much as we already do the moments and years. I love you, honey!
Thanks to everyone for the kind emails and encouragement that has been generously extended to Amy and me. If I could make one request respectfully (because I know the intent is extremely well meaning), please resist the urge to send food, as tempting as it may be. My room is already covered with food, and I can still eat very well 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across about 5 different dining facilities...food is the last thing I need. We do covet your prayers and encouragement to be sure though. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!