Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It Never Gets Easier

I was on track to write a delayed post on football, football and more football. It's coming but I couldn't ignore the pit in my stomach long enough to write that.
The feeling stems from a lifelong bond I made with the families of the soldiers that Jason served alongside. Those bonds will never be broken. Sure, we've "separated" from the Army. Others have moved away but when you go through an event like that with someone, it bonds you for life. It's triumph and tragedy and it is a year of your life. One that passes ever so slowly while you are living in it. These bonds were formed over meetings, dinners and holiday parties. Each held with the knowledge that something was missing. That's why we were all there. We endured 12 months of lonely nights, weeks of little to no communication and a fear that never subsides.

It has been 18 months since Jason returned and it still feels like yesterday. Those feelings of relief and thanksgiving for his safety and presence here with us still overwhelm me. As I sit here ever thankful, my heart wrenches for many of the families that endured those 12 months with us. They are spending today saying goodbye...Again.
They have just gotten used to a full dinner table, a monthly date night and daddy tucking them in. It comes all too quickly and IT NEVER GETS EASIER.
There is no one to fill that hole when they are gone. Deployment isn't easy. Many of these families have endured 3-4 and possibly even 5 combat tours.
They are veterans but it doesn't make them better at handling it.
It's different every time.
And it's always very lonely.
As I go to bed tonight, I'm saying a special prayer for the ones who will be sleeping in a bed alone.
For in their loneliness, I know very well that I can sleep in peace knowing their loved one is protecting ME.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Your sacrifices are greatly appreciated.

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