Tuesday, November 23, 2010


There are numerous e-mails circulating out there that detail "how hard the life of a soldier is, and how hard your own life isn't so quit whining and be more patriotic!" Having had four brothers in the armed services, I understand how it works. But while I was poking around on the Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry website this morning, looking for information on the Holiday Block Leave, I unexpectedly came across this picture.

Seeing it elicited several emotions from me. Happiness because, frankly, it's the first time I've seen my husband in two months. I had been wondering how he looks sans hair! And also happy, because I can tell by his expression he is keeping the sand out of his mouth. That's a good thing.

It gave me a twinge of sadness too, for obvious reasons. That isn't some faceless, abstract, heart-wrenching depiction of the Everyman Soldier. That is MY Lee, my companion and sweetheart and father of my children.

I know my personal trials are not many, and in truth, not very great. Perhaps my honey-bunny isn't right by my side every day, but I still have him. I might get so frustrated being a single mommy that I want to run away, but when I want to spend time with my children and get sticky kisses and little tiny hugs, I can. I don't have to go to a graveyard or a prison or a hospital room to be, so to speak, where they are. I am surrounded both near and far by people who I know love me and are helping me and who genuinely care if I am able to endure to the end. Their thoughts and prayers mean a great deal to me.

I am blessed, personally, beyond measure, and yet oddly enough, I, too, struggle to feel His love for me every day. When I stack my obstacles against others' they seem too frivolous to be authentic. And yet, this mortal existence is designed by a genius, so that we all, no matter our circumstances or parentage or gifts, have to exercise our agency to come to Him. And so though my problems may seem small to an outsider, they are big enough for me to desperately need Him.
(Virgina H. Pearce, "A Heart Like His," emphasis added)

Today has been a day of shifting perspective- certainly not the last, but I am looking at the world with different eyes since I saw this one picture. I have shed a few tears too, but rather than feeling lonely and melancholy, I feel cleansed somehow.

In conclusion, I'll just say that I am grateful for my trials, especially because I know they are mine. They were given specifically to me at this particular time by a loving Father who has a plan for my eternal happiness. He gave them to me-not only so I could grow and learn, but so I could recognize and acknowledge how I need Him, every hour of every day. And I do.


Marianne said...

Oh my gosh, Mel. This IS a huge trial in your lives. I am so impressed by your attitude. I know that you will come out to the other side of this, and you and Lee will be stronger for it. You will be able to look back and say, "Wow, we did THAT? We can do ANYTHING!"
I'm thinking of you!

Melissa Durtschi said...

Tears for you.....

Taylor's said...

holy smokes you put me in tears! thank you for reminding me of the wonderful men and woman that serve this country and also for their families that sacrifice their loved ones!

Melinda said...

Thanks for the thought by Virginia H Pierce. I have often had similar thoughts and wondered how I could possibly feel misery when I have "nothing" to be miserable about when I think about what others are going through. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and I too had wondered what Lee would look like without hair! I wish we lived closer to visit in person :-) I'd love to get our kids together and see what they could come up with.

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing with us.
P.S. We really like the picture! Camille said, "Hey that's Wyatt's Lee, huh."

Jake and Laura Eames said...

Thank you for your post I am a friend of Lee's from High school and going through a tough time myself and your words just touched me and help me realize that there is a reason for the suffering. So Thank I you and god bless you all until he is home safe with you and your little ones!