This time 15 years ago I was singling momming it and headed to Maine with a 10 month old Zach.
In September of 1996 Zach and I said our goodbyes to Stan and left him in the Philidelphia airport as he left the States to serve a seven month deployment in Bosnia. Zach was six months old when Stan parted ways with us.
Zach and I went to live with my parents in Kansas during Stan's deployment to make things, in theory, easier for me. I decided that for Christmas, though, I wanted to be closer to those who were more like my love so I packed up Zach and headed to the great, white, frozen tundra with my little darling baby.
It was one of the hardest Christmases of my life...celebrating without Stan. There were so many times I choked back tears when I thought of what Stan was missing ~ his first Christmas with our son. We were so very fortunate that it was our only Christmas apart.
My heart aches for all of our servicemen and women who are away from their loved ones this Christmas. Please say a prayer for all who are in harm's way this Christmas and celebrating the season of giving without their loved ones nearby. I wish each and every service member the peace of the season, the thanks of a grateful nation and the secure knowledge that their presence here at home is missed more than they will ever know.
As you celebrate the season please remember all of those who have are serving our nation far away from families. Their sacrifice is more than you will ever know...for the love of our children.