I think it’s safe to say that by now most people should be aware that our troops will be leaving Iraq, from what our President says, in time for the holidays. Brooks left in early February for this latest deployment and quite honestly I didn’t expect to lay eyes on him again until around that time frame. Wrapping my mind around him being here sooner than expected has proved to be hard, Presidential declaration and all. It’s so much easier to expect the normal time frame than something much, much sooner. It’s an emotional rollercoaster because as much as I want to believe in something sooner the five-deployments-under-our-belt me is telling me to not hold my breath, because the disappointment would be hard to bear.

And of course, my beau is amazing in that he doesn’t discuss that type of stuff because he knows things are so fluid and can change. I find myself wanting to believe as much as anyone who desires something wholeheartedly might do so. Christmas is like the one holiday that is incredibly important to me. So much so that we’ve celebrated the holiday early several times so that Brooks would be here with us for it. The thought of him overseas during the holidays has always been hard for me. It’s in those moments that I miss him most.

I remember our first early Christmas. We were poor as dirt, barely making it on his E2 pay and his unit was scheduled to deploy to Kuwait as a normal rotation, although we all knew that with if anything occurred with Iraq Brooks’s unit would be part of the troops involved in whatever happened. We hadn’t been married long enough to own a fake tree, and it wasn’t near enough to Christmas to purchase a real one anywhere. So I found a small tree online and ordered it; it was all we could afford. We put that sucker on a table because it was so small and it would have looked sadder on the floor. And we decorated it and made a traditional dinner and celebrated the holiday early, together, because it was all that mattered.

That was a good Christmas. And when the real date rolled around it was much easier to bear, his absence, the whole thing.

So, with the thought trying to hold fast in my mind that Brooks may indeed be home for the holidays, I can’t think of a single thing I’d ask for. Because the best thing, the only thing I would have wanted, seems to be in the works. A girl can only hope, somewhat cautiously 🙂

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