Holiday Shout-Outs (Family Edition)
The best way I know how... I'm wishing all a Merry Christmas.
I'm bitter this year. Very bitter... but the taste of home is in my mouth... anticipation -- oh, sweet anticipation!
So, in the spirit of the season... I have a couple shout-outs to make:
My family at home:
You've been there for me this whole year. We've shared, we've cried, we've laughed. Thanks for the wonderful break when I came home in May/June, and thanks for keeping the light on for me.
-- Mary: YOU ROCK! I couldn't ask for a more inspiring woman in my life. I couldn't design more animated, rewarding conversations. I guess relationships with women of power, strength and wisdom (not to mention courage!) have their perks. I know you'll be there when I get home, no questions asked, and that is priceless. Thank you. I LOVE YOU TONS!
-- Brad: Thank you thank you for the steady, behind-the-scenes you, that you still somehow managed to convey across 9,000 miles. The packages, phone calls, financial overwatch... the love, the apartment furnishing... I love you, Dad. Thank you for being there.
-- Abe and Jennifer: I "lump" you together, not because I think of you as one, but because your individual support of me has so gracefully intertwined this year that I can't quite seperate you in my gratitude, my merry wishes, and my hopeful anticipation of hugging both of you at once. What a delight to have "siblings"-- married -- supportive -- beautiful -- and inspiring! Jenn, thanks for keeping me posted on all the hard work you've done in preparation for Grad school. I'm endlessly grateful for you letting me piggy-back! Abe, thanks for the trust we've built. It was there beneath the surface, it seems, but it really came out to shine this year. The money-juggling is the icing on the cake! Thanks for being available for the car stuff. It matters. I'll see you two again soon. Very soon. Love you!
-- James: (once again you get the "last but not least" theme, just for nature of being youngest! someday you'll think that's great ;) I love you. I love you. My "baby" brother. We celebrated your 21st last year, and I won't QUITE make it home for your 22nd, but I'm awful close. Keep the candle burning. I'll be thinking of you on your one-more-year-older day! I love you and I can't wait to hug you again. Soon, sweety. Soon. (I'm laughing right now, picturing your 'this is Boris' telephone voice!)
Bob: I'm out of words. Our phone conversations, though few, keep me breathing sometimes. I feel your devoted friendship even through months of silence. The silence is there. Mostly, it's a side effect of the mission I've been given, but it will be over soon. Thank you for praying daily. Thank you for answering the phone every time I call. Thank you for being there. I feel you. And it makes a difference. Merry Christmas. I'll be home soon.
Rich: I love you. You made it to my shout-outs because you've been so instrumental in anchoring me through this deployment. It's almost over. We're on the home stretch... literally. A lot is left to mystery right now, and I'm okay with that. We have goals to pursue, checklists to follow, but I know this: you're with me as I continue on, and I'm with you the same. We've shared so much, and I look forward to more. I'm looking forward to reunion. Looking forward to your hands on my face, my arms around you, and your cheek touching mine. Merry Christmas. I love you... ttmab!