The kids and I dropped Tom off at the airport I thought I was going to throw up and bawl my eyes out but I had to hold it together in front of the kids. I really thought I was never going to see him again. It's a terrible thing to go through. (I can't imagine how Nick and Brooke do it for 9+ months at a time. Nick is in Bahrain now) I felt more uneasy about him going as a civilian than if he was actual military.
With the 9 hr time difference it was hard to connect at decent times but we got to Skype several times. I LOVE Skype!! Tom could do funny things with his computer and the kids thought it was funny, he would make his face turn into animals.
Joani came and stayed with me while Tom was gone. She was an amazing help! She did crafts and made yummy treats with the kids, she talked with me in the evenings, it was so comforting to have her here!
This short three week experience has made me appreciate the little things and the big things.
the freedoms we have
the comforts I take for granted, how ridiculously rich we are in general
I don't think twice about driving down the street, sending my kids to school, or going to a public place. BUT, every single day that Tom was gone I thought of those things.
I only learned recently that Tom witnessed car bombs while he was in Iraq and a mortar hit their base. It's good I didn't know these things at the time. I was already experiencing migraines and insomnia with all my worry.
I keep imagining how I would feel if I lived over there, with my family. I would never let my kids leave the house, they would be home schooled. I would be afraid to drive anywhere, I would be afraid ALL the time. Can you imagine how that would feel?
We would have to practice our faith in private, there are no church buildings or Temples to go to. Tom met a man who had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, his wife and two sons also joined. They saved a lot of money and went to be sealed in the South Africa Temple but couldn't afford to take both of their sons. So they are saving to go again. It is such a sacrifice, I have a hard time imagining.
There are so many good people all over the world, it inspires me.
What an experience this has been for all of us. Who knew such a short time could affect me so deeply.
The kids prayed everyday while Tom was gone, that he "would be safe and wouldn't die". Still they pray and say, "thank you that daddy was safe."
We pray for all our military. I only had a glimpse of their sacrifice.
Even if something happened to Tom I know that God would take care of us and that we would be with him again.
I am grateful for so many things. The little things and the big things.
I love all my family,
I love my Heavenly Father
I love America,
I love Utah,
I love my freedom AND safety
|Tom delivering his presents|
|Zoey got a stuffed camel, she loved it|
|She was shy with her dad at first|
|Zack got some Iraqi coins|
|All the kids got a really ornate camel and a Dinar- Iraqi currency|
|All the girls got these beautiful scarves|
|Zoey doesn't let me put anything on her head|