August 30, 2012

The best view...

Baby spotted Hubby as he was walking off the boat. Cue Wifey's tears.

August 28, 2012

A gentleman's smile...

I'm a people watcher. I watch their gaze to see what they're looking at and watch their expression and body language to try to read what they're thinking. When I am able to "test" my hypotheses by talking with someone after my observation, I'm usually right (just ask Hubby!).

Recently, Hubby, Baby, and I were having a farewell breakfast at the base golf course restaurant before sending Hubby off for a bit. Since he was in uniform for his departure and it was a Sunday morning, the golf course was our only dining option. It was a beautiful morning--clear, cool, and just a slight breeze. Though the golfers were out in droves at that early hour enjoying their serene morning outside, ours was the only family eating outside on the patio. We sat and talked, casually enjoying our last few moments together for a while and watching the comings and goings of the golfers.

Between bites of my fruit and entertaining Baby with stacking jelly containers, I noticed an older gentleman walk by our family and cast the sweetest smile in our direction. There was no eye contact. I could tell he was just smiling at the entirety of the image before him. I watched him watching us as he walked by. Then he was off in his cart to tee off.

From that kind, reminiscent smile, I knew that he was probably remembering back to his own days in the military. I bet he had many a meal with his family under similar circumstances. I bet he had beamed with pride and love for his family while simultaneously dreading the inevitable separation. I bet he loved his choice to serve his country and has no regrets about the lifestyle he chose to live.

Seeing that smile gave me an unexpected feeling of comfort. Though fleeting, that smile offered me a pat on the back, as if he was saying, "I know this is hard, but I promise you'll look back on your time with the military with warm memories."

As crazy as it sounds, that stranger's smile gave me that last little bit of courage I needed to drop Hubby off and say goodbye (again). Years after the blessings and hardships of his military service, that gentleman is still smiling. In the thick of the hardships the military is placing on us, that is encouraging. And that's something to smile about.


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