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There’s just something about Christmas music that conjures up the ghosts of Christmases past. Each year, as the music streams out of Pandora, the floods of memories come.
This morning, a man read the poem “The Night Before Christmas” and it reminded me of a Hallmark recordable storybook that my husband recorded for our infant son before he left for his second deployment to Afghanistan. All throughout that year, we listened to the book. April, July, October…it didn’t matter. And I remember every intonation of his voice, every pause, every stumble over the words.
I remember being both grateful that we had this gift and scared that maybe this would be the last thing we ever had of him.
But now it’s three years later and my husband and son just took off for school drop-off (wearing that very same shirt).
Because he came home.
And now the deployments seem like barely a blip on our timeline. A distant memory that only seems strong when I’m Already There comes on the radio and at Christmastime when the music on Pandora reminds me of the three Christmases tinged by separation from the one I love.
And while there are still hard days marked by insomnia, anxiety, and adjustment…
He came home. And he’s never leaving again.
And three years later, it still seems like just as much of a miracle.