Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blessings of Military Leave and Spending time With Family...

Hello All! Sorry we have been away. We have been enjoying the "Blessing of Family". A wonderful thing occurred when my Husband's return from Afghanistan partnered with my Daughter's Spring Break at school. We took an unexpected, spur of the moment trip to honor being a family again. We traveled, we ate, we played, we ate, we swam, we get the idea. We had a ball reconnecting our family again away from all work, business, email, and cell phone distractions. God showed us his favor, blessings and protection the entire way. We couldn't help but realize how blessed we are to be in the Military and receive the fortune of 30 days paid leave. I know of no other Company that provides that. And I know that we use every single day to it's advantage. So whether you take a fancy trip, or travel back to your home state to visit with Family, or stay home and barbecue while working on home projects, my wish for you is that you take every single 30 days and make the most of them with your family.

We thought alot about how we spent last year's leave. Every ounce of regular leave, along with every ounce of accumulated deployment leave in addition to alot of compassionate leave was gladly used to travel back and forth to Texas to visit and care for my beloved Father who was a vibrant, warm, funny, Southern Gentleman, who had just had a stoke. We were not able to be there everyday with him like we wanted. But we came often, stayed long, worked hard to rehabilitate and care for him, then heartbreakingly had to leave again until the next little bit of leave. We were really convinced that my Father would recover and would be out in his garden showing his Grandkids a little bit about this flower and that one. But sadly, at the end, my Father had a long, agonizing, painful, undignified passing. It was the most awful thing to watch, yet there was no place in the world that my Husband (who also considered my Father to be his own) nor I would want to be. We had the great honor of holding his hand and stroking his head and listening to his wisdom and "I Love You's" until his last breath was gone. It has only been a few months since my father's passing and I am yet to think of him without the tears flowing. We loved him, we respected him and we enjoyed his humorous stories in the backyard while he barbecued. The world feels like a completely different place once your Daddy is no longer in it. I miss his hugs. The ones that only a Daddy can give. After we had used our 30 days leave, and after we had used the 40 days of deployment leave, my Husband's Unit gave him indefinite compassionate Leave to "Go and Care for Your Family" as they put it. The generosity of Military Leave allowed us to do all we could to save our Father, then to spend his last few weeks at his bedside day and night, and then to plan a Memorial befitting of the man he was.

2009 was a difficult year for our family, but we were able to see and appreciate the "Blessings of Military Leave". Again I say, thank you!!

My Husband returned from a 15 month deployment in 2009. We cared for and buried my Father.

In 2010, My Husband has just returned from a short Afghanistan pre deployment trip. At the end of 2010, he will deploy again for a year. Which makes taking and enjoying every single day we are granted leave as a way for our family to connect, to honor and love one another and to create lifelong memories!

My wish for you is that you do the same....leave everything behind, focus on the ones you love and create memories!

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