Memorial Day. The day we honor those who sacrificed for our freedom. It means a little bit more to me this year.
We didn't ask for this war. We didn't plan for you to get involved in it, though we knew it could happen. Today I honor you, my soldier who accepts his duty to leave his family for a year and serve his country.
How I treasure every moment with you. Every little moment that I've taken for granted over the past several years. I lay in bed next to you and felt the way you curled up behind me and wrapped your arm around my shoulders. I love that. I turned around and looked at you and you said, "You are so beautiful in the morning." You always say that. I don't know what you're seeing! But I just wanted to memorize you. The golden flecks in your blue-green eyes. The red stubble on your chin. Your wild eyebrow hairs that don't want to conform.
You held my hand in church. Our arms were stretched across the pew with our two little boys playing between us. I saw how your eyes reddened during the song and I can only imagine the thoughts that must be going through your head. I know the ones that go through mine. A year without you. A year of church, birthdays, Christmas, anniversary, all without you. Our oldest will be getting ready for kindergarten. Our youngest will be three, and not the youngest anymore. The baby will be almost walking. You rubbed your fingers over my knuckles and I held the moment close to my heart.
You led our family in prayer again. I love listening to you bless our house and our children and pray for our safety and prosperity. I love that you are so willing to kneel before God and in such a simple way set an example for our little children. My heart hurts that they won't see you kneel in prayer again for a long time.
I watched you playing with our boys today. They love jumping off the steps into your arms. You laughed every time they giggled and shrieked. You gathered up the little one and tickled him all over. He attached himself to you, not letting you even go to the bathroom without taking your hand. "Hand, Daddy." It made me smile. I know you are memorizing these moments also.
I love you. I am so proud of you. You are doing something honorable and wonderful and our nation thanks you. We will pray for you. Please come home to us.