Sunday, August 26, 2007

Twelfth Anniversary: Celebrating from a Distance

Today I am celebrating my twelfth wedding anniversary. On the one hand, it doesn't really seem that long ago. But when I consider all Dawn and I have experienced together, it humbles me. I met Dawn at Florida Southern College, where I ran a small cafe and grill. She came in to order an egg sandwich, and told me to just cook it in the microwave. I ignored her (that should have been her first clue, right?) and proceeded to cook the egg on the grill as normal people do. She huffed, but happily returned for seconds. A year and a half later we married.

She started her teaching career in Florida as I finished my undergraduate work. She then followed me to Chicago for grad school, etc. and then Fort Stewart, Georgia--my first duty station as a chaplain. Since our arrival at Fort Stewart, I have seen more of Iraq and my fellow Soldiers than I have of Georgia and my sweet wife and boys. I have no doubt that her difficulties and challenges are at least as great as those I experience in a combat zone.
I sometimes wonder whether our current hardships will be as inspirational to our grandchildren as our grandparents’ are to us? Either way, our hardships continue to help fashion us into more fitting companions for one another and parents for our children. I often tell Soldiers the greatest gift they can give their children is to love and honor their wives. I pray that, with God's help, I am giving my full effort in blessing our boys with this gift.

When I was deployed to Iraq in 2005, I was able to take my two weeks of R&R to be home for our tenth anniversary. This year I will be home for her birthday. Dawn is photogenic and has a great smile. I brought with me to Iraq--both this time and last--a few of my favorite pictures of her to help fortify me. I share these with you as a tribute to her, and an illustration of her loyalty, playfulness, and beauty. May God continue to bless the marriages of those who are serving where their families cannot follow.

1 comment:

The Smith Family said...

What beautiful photos you have of the family and thanks for sharing. Happy anniversary to you and Dawn.
We miss you and hope to get down to Georgia when you return home.
All our love and friendship,
Lori, Chris Kayla and Nicholas Smith