I am feeling a memory. The memory is a vivid one. The feelings are intense.
My eyes keep welling with tears at random times. There are moments like tonight when I am overcome with emotion.
My heart aches.
I cannot stop thinking about the past. Thinking about the past is taxing. The feelings are heart-wrenching.
Empathy comes easily to me. It does not sit easily on me.
This week a neighbor of mine is deploying to the middle east. There is a going away party for him tomorrow. His wife's name is April. She has a 7 year-old son. He has a daughter from a previous marraige, as well. She's probably 6 or so.
I look at their newly displayed American flag and I remember.
A friend of mine from church is leaving toward the end of the week. His wife's name is Desiree. She has 4 children. Their ages are around 9, 7, 4, and 9 months.
I think of their children, and I remember.
When my husband went to Iraq, I had 3 children that were 4, 2, and 6 months.
That year about broke me.
I hurt for my friends. I hurt deeply for them.
All I know to do right now is to keep on expressing myself. I am being open with God. I am pouring my out my heart to Him. I plead for insight on how to be a good friend to these friends. I ask for their safety. I desire their comfort and strength.
I need to write this. I cannot keep from it. I want to ask you to bathe these friends in prayer. The whole year is difficult. There is no denying that.
This week, as for many other weeks to come, will be intense.
Seeing your husband hold your baby just one more time.
Answering questions from the kids that you just can't really explain well enough for them to understand.
That last look before your loved one leaves.
Feeling scared, alone and overwhelmed with responsibility.
Wanting to be left alone and be surrounded by friends and not knowing which would make you feel better.
You are leaving, setting out on a mission with tremendous responsibility.
You want to comfort and provide for your family.
You want to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the job ahead.
You are torn between two opposite and strong feelings.
I can't make a list long enough, or more accurately, powerful enough. Both the soldiers and the families are experiencing extreme emotions that are not always the same.
Please pray for these friends - as well as the many, many others in the same situation.