One Year Ago

One year ago, I was gearing up for the holidays, and was dreading every moment being alone.

One year ago, I woke up every morning to my beautiful Gracie, but without my husband.

One year ago, my husband was here.

pakt

One year ago, we were having our holidays worlds apart.

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One of the hardest parts of being part of the military is knowing that you will miss out on days together. Days to make traditions. Days to be lazy. Days that are holidays. Days that are just days.

toms holidays

Here is where Tom and 9 other soldiers stayed during on of their missions. He received “holiday” meals a few days after while on guard duty.

Last year I was so apprehensive to go home for the holidays. I didn’t want all the reminders that Tom wasn’t there to share them with us. These were also the few weeks where I had very little to no contact with Tom. Come to find out later, these were the biggest weeks for Tom’s unit because this is when they got their CIB and had some pretty out there missions.

But all I knew were the days of silence.

tom's shots

One year ago, I jumped every time my phone rang, vibrated, or shuddered when I looked at it and saw nothing. One year ago, I was grasping for peace of mind.

One year ago, we both had to make the best of our distance.

holiday

Deployments are hard. They are hard for so many obvious reasons.They are hard for reasons I could never begin to explain.

And because of that, I don’t want to take this year granted. I want to make these moments we have been blessed with ones that we will cherish forever.  I have loved being able to experience holidays with Tom. I love the sense of being normal. I love knowing we are both safe. I love having the peace of mind.

I know that there are so many soldiers that are still overseas. Many military families are going to have distance between them this year. I think about this often, and know that this year I am extremely blessed to have my family whole again. My prayers, thoughts, and heart goes out to those who wait for their homecoming.

This company was shared with me recently, and I thought it was pretty neat to think about how far technology has come in the past few decades. It makes deployment a smidge easier to swallow when you can have glimpses of each other through the various means of technology like Dropcam.

This was taken from their website:

Dropcam’s simple live streaming abilities allow soldiers and their families to experience the joy of the holiday season together, even when they’re miles apart.  Military members can tune in and watch the excitement on their children’s faces as they tear open presents on Christmas morning.  Dropcam’s Two-Way Talk feature allows our soldiers to speak directly to their families as they watch the action unfold online right before their eyes. If schedules don’t permit our service members to tune into the live stream, 24-hour Cloud Recording makes it possible for them to relive the moments whenever it’s convenient for them. Dropcams can even be purchased by military members and their families using a special discount at the Apple Store

How cool is that? Looking back, Tom was not able to do much on either Thanksgiving or Christmas because of their mission at the time. Plus the time difference may not have allowed for our holiday contact either. We also only used Skype one time during the whole deployment due to the internet connection and availability. So the chance to have these moments recorded and saved for when it becomes possible for the soldier is really a great idea. Much better than pictures, or trying to mail tape recorders, although those are great too!

Dropcam also has shared some heartwarming holiday homecomings. Grab your tissues and be ready to weep! Obviously, the one that got me the most was the one with the dog. Such a powerful moment, to see your loved one again after so much heartache, unknown, and waiting. Such a relief and a renewed sense of life and focus on what matters. I remember one year ago watching videos like these on Christmas morning so thankful for these families to have their family together, and praying that mine was ok.

It is a gift to have our soldiers home, and one that I am not taking lightly this year!

christmas

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