Picture it: Christmas morning, 2004. Addison is 5 years old, and is up at the butt crack of dawn to open his presents. Within minutes, the phone is ringing. It's Adam, who will listen as Addison tears into what Santa brought him. I listen along with him, watching our son, with tears in my eyes. Adam is deployed. It's our first Christmas that our family isn't together.
Picture it: Christmas 2007. Reference above paragraph. Same Christmas, different year.
I'm a Christmas freak. I have no problem letting anyone know. This is my way of letting everyone know exactly why I love Christmas.
In 2004, my best friend Ely's fiance was also deployed. In an effort to make it fun, we wore pajamas, tiaras, and feather boas all day long. We drank mimosas and had tacos for Christmas dinner. Even though our men were overseas, we did our best to enjoy the holiday. We didn't try to re-create what Christmas would be like if they were there, because they were not there.
I put on a brave face for Ely and Addison. But it wasn't the same. It was glaringly apparent that Adam wasn't there. I made it through the day, but it wasn't easy. It was a bittersweet day. I was able to spend it with my son and my best friend.
We're a military family from Massachusetts. We live in Georgia. We aren't able to just jump in the car and be at grandma's house, or an aunt, uncle, or cousin. At the holidays, and every other day, our military friends are our family.
I admit, I felt sorry for myself on those two Christmas days without Adam. I also know that there are families who will never enjoy a Christmas with their loved one again, whether they died fighting for our country, from an illness, accident, etc. I knew I was lucky that Adam was alive and well.
This Christmas, Ely, her husband, and her son (my godchild) will be spending Christmas here at our home. They will fly from Utah to Georgia, and spend a glorious week with us. I am beyond excited. I haven't seen Ely in three long years. I miss her terribly.
Any year Adam is home is a special Christmas for our family. We do not take it for granted. So, if I gush a little (or a lot) about Christmas, let it be. It's a special day for us all.