Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy days

What is it about human nature? We get so caught up in the stress of work and petty, day-to-day annoyances, that we lose sight of the big picture that shows just how good our life really is.

Here's my big picture:

How very, very blessed I am!

I took this photo one evening last week. The weather was fairly nice, Jeff had the night off, and Maggie was doing relatively well. What more could I ever want?

I think I've always done a pretty good job recognizing and savoring the simple moments of fun with my kids, knowing they will grow up all too quickly. For the last three months, I've especially treasured each day - counting each as a bonus - that Maggie remains with us. And now I'm reminded again of lucky I am that Jeff is home with us.

The soldiers in his old unit leave tomorrow for a year-long deployment.

Suddenly Jeff's work schedule doesn't seem so bad. The piles of dirty clothes in the bathroom and by his side of the bed? Who cares? I remember when he was deployed to Bosnia, listening to friends innocently complain about whatever latest annoying thing their husband had done, and thinking to myself, "how I wish Jeff were here to bug me."

So many families will be torn apart for the next year. For some, it is the second and even third time they've been forced to put plans and lives on hold. How lucky I am to have only gone through this once, and never with kids. That raw ache of grief, the stomach-twisting hurt in the center of your being that kills the appetite and blots out your peripheral vision, preventing you from focusing on anything else. While Jeff was away, I couldn't see a "big picture." It consumed my energy just to get through each day.

These are all just distant memories to me, but are painfully real and present for too many of my friends.

How grateful I am that the ones I love most are all within arms' reach. My big picture is beautiful.

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