He Missed So Much.

by Karen

The little guy and I are going to the airport this afternoon to pick up Clay. He has been TDY the past week so it was yet another solo parenting adventure. But he will be home today – just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Whenever Clay is away, I can’t help but think of last year. He was deployed pretty much all of 2010. He left a wife and newborn on the homefront. It wasn’t easy on him. And it wasn’t easy on me.

But we did just fine. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. After all, we had been through a 16-month deployment before, how hard could  a year be? Hard. I underestimated the hardship of raising a baby alone. And doing so while worried about a husband fighting in a war 6000 miles from home. That being said, 2010 was filled with many special moments. They were bittersweet though, because Clay was unable to share them with us. He missed so much.

Clay left when Weston was 10 days old.

He came back home almost a month later.

And then deployed when the little guy was 2 months old.

Clay came home for R&R in October, just in time for Weston's 1st birthday.

And then came home 'for good' when Weston was almost 15 months old.

He missed so much.

Clay has been home for 5 months now and I keep forgetting how much he missed.

Like the first laugh.

The first taste of peas.

The first attempt at crawling.

And the first steps.

He missed so much.

It was for a reason greater than ourselves.

But that doesn’t make him missing the first year any easier.

I look back and I am amazed that I did it. We did it. The first year of a child’s life is such a spectacular time. And it can be a trying time, filled with many learning experiences. Going at it alone with a husband at war was difficult. But I did it. We did it. And while Clay missed so much, he came home. We have had many opportunities to create memories as a family. Others haven’t been as lucky. He missed so much, but we are truly blessed. And it can be easy to lose sight of that sometimes.


This Memorial Day weekend I am thinking of those who didn’t have the homecoming, those who gave all, and those who should never be forgotten. Take a moment this weekend and think of those who are the purpose of this holiday. I know I am.