The Snow Man Story

by Kelly from the Path on December 5, 2010

In a reply to my cousin Cheryl’s last post, I alluded to how difficult I imagine (for I can only imagine) it must be for for my fellow deployers who left little ones behind- particularly now, in the the midst of the holiday season. My friend Dave told me this story which helped me to realize just a bit what that must be like (by leaving a lump in my throat).

In the MAJ Dave household, he is the one who gets the kids out the door in the morning, often urging them along by telling them to hurry up, because Daddy’s work is farther away than school and he can’t be late “…or my boss will yell at me”.

He began socializing the idea of going to Iraq with them some time before he left, and they seemed to be taking the idea in stride. The boys are three and five. Three year olds live pretty much in the present, but somewhere between three and five, the sense of time passing sharpens, so the older boy probably could be expected to take the news of impending separation harder…. but all seemed well.

Then one day, the five year old asked Daddy: “How much farther will you have to drive every morning when you go to work in Iraq?” The talk that followed must have been quietly breaking Dave’s heart. All was relatively quiet for the rest of the day….until a midnight meltdown. Through his tears, the little boy choked out…”..B-but I wanted to build a SNOW MAN with you this year!”

In that one representative statement, a child completely captures the concept of a whole season lost. That little boy’s grief, and his Mom and Dad’s, is multiplied many thousand times across the desert and across the globe. As you enjoy your families and children this season, (and all the fun and silliness the season brings), please remember Dave’s little boys and all the other wee ones out there missing a Mommy or Daddy this year. Those moms and dads are doing their best to ensure you and yours many happy holiday seasons to come, living free in the greatest nation on earth. They do it happily, but not without personal cost.

Being not only a great American, but a great Dad; Dave solved the problem. He and his little guy built an awesome Leggo Snow Man just before Thanksgiving.

(You can see a photo of Dave, looking very wise, under the photo tab with the GA (Georgia) pics)

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