A few days ago I made a batch of fresh, soft, rich, from-scratch chocolate chip cookies. Let me be crystal clear on something: I make delightful chocolate chip cookies (horrible peanut butter cookies, but yummy chocolate chip cookies). It's a gooey gala in your mouth. I can't take much credit for their sheer delectable-ness. It's my mom-in-law's recipe (which was her mom's recipe), and I use Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips. The secret's in the chips, folks. Never scrimp on the chips. (Don't worry. There is a reason I'm torturing you with my mouth-watering cookie spiel.)
I took my little care package and headed to the Post Office. Baby wipes and homemade cookies in tow, I slapped my goods in a flat rate box and wrote the APO address on the outside (and almost managed to get all six lines of the address inside that little address space). That's right. I'm a do-gooder. I sent my brother-in-law the best cookies that come from my kitchen and sent him baby wipes so he can get kinda, sorta (not really) clean while serving our country in the Middle East.
Aren't I just so lovable? Isn't he lucky to have yours truly for a sister-in-law?
Oh wait. Do we have his current deployment address (nope-had to ask his ex-wife)? Oops.
Punch to the gut.
When did he deploy, again? Beginning of the year.
Been there for months on end? Has received two care packages. TWO! One was from the wife of one of his soldiers (probably pitied the poor, neglected Captain).
I'm not so thrilled with this whole deployment deal, but I'm even more hot under the collar with myself. Monday's post flipped a U-ey, and came barreling down on me like a Mack Truck. If I can't manage to display a smidgen of appreciation for the brother of my husband (seriously? cookies that will be stale by the time they reach him and baby wipes?), how can I expect to demonstrate authentic love for the people two houses down? Both deserve better from me. God deserves better from me.
The average civilian's life is largely detached from the daily grind of the men and women in the trenches. It's far too easy to push them aside in lieu of the "here and now". To any servicemen and women who happen to read this post, I am sorry. I'm working on being a more sensitive and supportive civilian, because I am grateful for you sacrifices. I've apologized to my brother-in-law, and expressed our desire to send him care packages more regularly (ideally, I'd like to send him something monthly). His response indicated this is par for the course for a lot of deployed uniforms (who set aside their comfort and safety to ensure ours).
I realize America is divided on the war, but can we be united on the love?*
Munching on Humble Pie,
*Visit http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/ and
http://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/military-resources/how-to-support-our-troops.html for practical ways to show love to our soldiers (worldwide), veterans and their families.