Like 160000 other US families all I want for Christmas is my soldier. He has proudly made an untold number of sacrifices throughout his many years of service to build the expertise necessary to do his part to make our world a safer place.
Over the last year, the most profound of our lives, we have only spend 15 days with our hero. He sends us love and tells us stories of his days over email and during the few phone calls. Like so many other experiences, I just can't accurately describe the depths of my pride or love for him.
I am a wildly independent spirit. After completing college I "married" my career and resigned myself to living the life of a single (*single as in: unmarried) woman. I worked ridiculously long hours and gladly volunteered to take the holiday overtime pay for co-workers with family obligations. Travel was never something I had to actually plan for, I just packed and was on the road. Decisions were not something to be shared or negotiated, they were to be calculated and made on my own.
My how plans change.
Thanks to the encouragement of my sister and the assistance of technology, fate put me in contact with the most amazing partner. He was, from the beginning, more that I could have ever dreamed of. He was willing to entertain strange questions (on topics ranging from politics to toothpaste squeezing techniques) as we were getting to know each other. It was clear from the very first conversations that we connected on a level deeper than the average pair. I woke especially early so that I could return from the gym with enough time to talk to Geo before work. There were many days when I entertained the idea of calling in sick just so I didn't have to leave the computer.
It was clear that we were going to meet when he returned to the States. Our first date started at a Burger King parking lot and included the film Osama and a delicious Indian meal (where he ordered for me). I was hooked.
We married last year, shortly after hearing of his upcoming deployment. The day was one of the happiest of my life. It was easy to vow to walk through the remainder of my life with him. George is truly my soul mate. We share similar values, passions and comfortable silence.
We have shared losses and disappointments on several levels together. We've changed jobs and even career paths. We've made decisions and then changed them. We've relocated and decided to expand. Each of these things has helped to build the unshakable, unbreakable bond between us.
And just when I thought that it couldn't be possible to love and admire him more I saw they way that he connected with our daughter...
There is a very special bond that they share. It was instant and beautiful and it made my heart expand even more. So, Santa, the only thing that I want for the holidays is for my wonderful, amazing, loyal, dedicated husband to feel our love for him and to be safe.
Babe, When you finally get a chance to read this, know that we love you with all of our hearts and souls. We think of you every minute of the day and pray for your safe return. Home just isn't the same without our stinky ol' tanker. Happy Holidays.