Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Best Christmas Gift

The morning of Christmas has expectations. Excitement, joy, happiness, love, warmth, companionship, beauty, plentiful, surprise, generosity, and giving are all words that come to mind when I think of Christmas morning. On Christmas morning in 2004, there was a big part of my life missing. As my kids excitedly found what Santa had left them the night before, I watched for their reactions. The were very happy. Watching my children be happy made the ache in my heart pound a little harder. Knowing that their dad wasn't able to be there with them, to experience some of the "firsts" for our littlest, and enjoy the elation of our oldest. The phone rang just as the wrapping paper had all been ripped off the gifts, and the stockings had been scavenged. I laid on the floor with my kids watching them unwrap and eat Christmas candy for breakfast. On the other end of the phone was Mike. That Christmas morning was as complete as we could get it that year. We were all together, if we count being on speaker phone. We all laid on the floor with the phone in the middle of us and talked about what we had eaten for Christmas Eve. We talked about how the weather was in our different regions of the world. We talked about the people we spent Christmas Eve with, the packages we received, and the gifts we gave. During a deployment, holidays are difficult. The Christmas season has expectations. Sometimes those expectations are hard to meet. It is all in our attitude. The best Christmas gift I have received is when I answered that phone call from Mike. He was thousands of miles away, but we were still able to share Christmas morning together.