But it doesn't feel like it. Today it really hit home. 5 days until Christmas. If I look around, I see Christmas Cheer in the way of baked goodies, Christmas cards from loved ones, and decorations galore. My holiday spirit, however, seems to be overseas with my husband.
I work in mental health, and sometimes we hear "Fake it, until you Make it." Meaning, if you act a certain way and exude what you want to feel, if you do it enough, you'll eventually start to feel it and it will come into fruition. So I've donned my snowflake pin and matching earrings, and dug out my red sweaters in an effort to spread and accumulate Christmas cheer. I hope it works. I try to keep negative self-talking to a limit. Instead of; "Gosh, it's terrible my husband isn't going to be here. No husband Christmas eve, Christmas morning.. No Daddy to put the toys together in the morning, or help me make dinner and clean up from the avalanche of gift wrap. I just found him and I don't get to spend Christmas with him." I try to think, "Imagine how awesome next Christmas is going to be! We'll all just be that much more grateful for each other and cherish things more." Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
I've had an outreach of support from my fellow Army Wives, Moms and Dads. Some of the comments and advise I got were to remember that he is missing us too. Only too true. Also, I was reminded that his sacrifice is what makes him a Hero, and being away from his family only adds to that. This is only too true and it's meaning is only too clear. A former co-worker pointed out that her husband protects her, but my husband protects us all. I started to feel even more proud of my husband. Which is hard, I'm already busting with pride. Another friend commiserated, saying he could not even imagine going through something like that. Neither did I, a couple years ago. However now it is reality. The acknowledgement of what we are going through this Christmas, was appreciated greatly. Lastly, the outpouring of support from my Military Family was wonderful. It was good to reminded that I am not alone in this and that he does have leave coming up in a while.
Military spouses are sometimes expected to put on a brave face and be all cheery and happy for our soldiers when they call. It's our job to hold down the fort and keep everything going and perfect while our soldier is away. I am, however, a terrible liar. My husband can just tell that it's tough for me and hard. I feel bad I am not better at hiding how much I miss him and put on a braver face. Perhaps I'll learn for the next deployment and be better at it. Because, like it or not, there is likely to be another deployment and another Christmas, New Years, birthdays, Easter and other holidays that he is going to miss.
I had better be a good student this time around.