Just days after Veterans Day, my friend Shannon sent her husband John off into the great unknown that is military deployment. A mom of three, this military life has taken her family around the country to their current life in Virginia. I am beyond grateful that their nationwide tour brought them to my city & into my life. I am beyond sad that their time here ended & they moved on to greater things (MomDay Monday – Goodbye Friends).
We no longer talk every day – a fact made inevitable by life & kids & jobs & homes – although we’re still in touch when we need to be. But through the magic of social media, we still get to see a piece of each other’s lives. Usually it’s the sunny & the shiny things we post. This morning I woke up to this post from Shannon:
“Social media is remarkable:
As I see posts of children and families smiling, playing and enjoying life I think to myself: I just sent my husband off to protect that.
As I see posts of attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad I think to myself: I just sent my husband off to defend that.
As I see posts about gun control and our government I think to myself: I just sent my husband off to protect that.
As I see posts of the American flag waving proudly through the sky I think to myself: I just sent my husband off to defend that.
Here I sit, with my stomache in knots, struggling to catch my breath at times, and my heart in pieces, I am emotional and powerless because I just sent my husband, an active duty service member of the United States of America off into a troubled world of uncertainty and unpredictability and I wonder do others ever sit back and think what THAT feels like? God bless America and the Sailors who possess the strength to walk across that ships brow into the unknown world to defend and protect Americans, or the Soldiers who stand on the enemies soil prepared to fight in hopes of returning home soon. I could not be more proud of my husband and my family for all the things we muscle through, and I hope that others take a moment and reflect on just a few of the sacrifices made from the military and their families so you can enjoy your freedom and democracy: because I just sent my husband off to defend and protect that.”
I’ve written about my nephew, Dan & his time in the Marines (MomDay Monday – God Speed). But that knot in my stomach that I talked about is from an aunt’s perspective – not from someone who lived with him daily. How much bigger must that knot be when it’s the person you most rely on?
As John deployed last night, Shannon posted this picture with the caption “Goodbyes are not beautiful, but true love certainly is. Stay safe lover!!”
I couldn’t comment. Couldn’t even “like” it. Once again I watch this family go through a deployment. And this time, it’s from too far away to do anything but pray. Especially in light of everything that’s happened in the world in the past week, I hate that my friend has to go through this.
Like Shannon, I could not be more proud of John. And I could not be more proud of Shannon & her children as they endure yet another round of uncertainty. So as we pray for Paris & Beirut & refugees who have no home, please… add a prayer not only for our military, but for those who just sent their husband off to defend & protect.