Next time you want to take your life or family for granted, think of these moments:
- when I landed last Sunday (30 minutes early mind you), I was bummed to be sitting on the smoking corner awaiting Paul to pick me up. But then I turned my head to my left and saw a kid in an Army uniform. He and I both joked about waiting for our rides. Here was the difference: he had been travelling for 5 days to get home for a visit from Afganistan. He hadn't been home in 8 months. He hadn't changed clothes or taken his boots off. He hadn't seen his family. He was only going to be home for 2 weeks to turn around and head back for the remainder of his 18 month tour. Seeing his family reunion while I waited was worth the wait and a good lesson in patience.
- Today I was talking to my sister-in-law...she has been: working; training; and raising her 3 children while Ryan has been in Iraq. Ryan is home for two weeks for his mid-tour leave. I had a moment of creativity and found a fantastic restaurant for them to enjoy last night. I was so thrilled to hear how much they did and what they ate...what a treat!! But it is so much more than that. As much as she might want to race and do tons of things, she just matter-of-factly talks about how it just isn't going to happen. She so calmy talks about it being, "just 4 more months" after Ryan heads back to Iraq next week.
These are just a supreme reminder for me of how thankful I am for all the freedoms and gifts these guys and their familys' sacrifices afford me. I am so appreciative of the example that Nicole continues to give me in just making life work.