Wednesday, November 28, 2007

even at war, wishes of peace for holiday and beyond

Peace.  Paz.  Shalom.  Many other ways to express that feeling and hope, for relationships, for the world.  It's a greeting and wish I often share, sincerely, at this time of year (and sometimes other times).

Before Thanksgiving, while not really yet able to deal with the concept of Thanksgiving without Dad [alive], I started picking up things to send to my coworker/friend also in the Navy Reserves, who was recently redeployed to Iraq.  Thanksgiving ended up fine, with M and I joining in with my mother and stepfather, mom nicely recuperating great after gallbladder surgery, Doug invited but didn't come (perhaps next year, at least he was invited), good traditional meal M helped make.  (Mom didn't say a negative word!) Just weird to not even talk with Dad, never mind also visiting him, just separately.  Anyway, I window shopped for Christmas instead of dealing with Thanksgiving, forcing myself a holiday in advance to get together this package. 

M and I looked at a few stores, Michael's and CVS primarily, and this day, I was in World Market with the stockers putting up all the new sparkling, beautiful, whimsical delights.  I have yet to find a small enough, non-tacky Christmas tree, but there I did find a Christmas tree lollipop.  And a lovely 3-D silver star ornament (which also came in gold), and a tiny teddy bear-like moose, with moveable limbs and a santa hat to fit in the small stocking I had.  Peanuts-brand hot chocolate mixes, and lots of candy.  I also picked up an Advent calendar for us, well, for M, really, and English crackers as my Dad loved them, and I just can't see having Christmas morning without him and M and I, popping our crackers, and opening our stockings.  At least we'll be home and not in a tent with our own very lives at risk.  I overheard M joking with our beagle, Daisy, this morning, who was likely inspecting the box, "Did you want to be put in the box, too, go over to Iraq as a special friend?  I don't think so, there would be loud noises and only people food, well, not that you'd mind that, and he may not have any time to play with you."

Christmas cards.  Oh, how I love Christmas cards.  Not that I tend to ever get them sent out, a major ordeal I'd love to accomplish but don't guilt myself about any longer.  But, I LOVE the cards:)  Dad and I painted some one year, not sure any of those got sent:)  (Mom and I would make decorated Christmas cookies.)  M and I are both visual, the artwork has to, well, "work" for us, along with the message.  We found a gorgeous Chanukkah card last night, a traditional artwork done with a dove and purple and browns.  Here, they had cut-out cards of white on red, funny ones with pets, religious ones, beautiful angels or snow scenes, romantic ones (ah, nix that,while I wouldn't mind checking out the possibility of more than friends with him :) , we are NOT more than friends now), or Santa in the wrong skin color.  I never realized how hard it'd be to find one with a message that'd work to send to a friend off at war in Iraq.  Cards that imply one is home enjoying the day, are, well, weird. 

Peace.  That first card I saw this year wishing, primarily, peace, stopped me.  I still wish for peace, for the world, for him and others to come home safely.  Yet, well, would that imply that I don't believe in their mission, or would it otherwise come across politically?  What would he think?  Peace.  I can't stand war or conflict at ALL.  I abhor it.  I am much more a peace-keeper than a peace-maker, (while I do believe in peace-making, I just have more of a keep the peace personality to always be able to function adequately to move it forward to peace-making, tho I try).  I am learning that many serving in war zones right now believe themselves to be peace-makers.  I appreciate that perspective.  (This blog here has brought me new insight -- not a lot of politics just saying how it is for him -- great guy away from his kids -- This War and Me .)  (And others who dislike or even hate being part of "this" war, but do their job as required, their duty.)  It doesn't matter ones politics, however, not really -- the soldiers, pilots, medical staff, whomever -- are people.  They are our friends, parents, cousins, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, coworkers, lovers, whomever, way far away, with a Christmas or Chanukkah in a completely other region of the world.  The least we can do is send a greeting, a reminder that we care about them.  My uncle died in "the forgotten war."  Pray that they all make it home.

I finally found a Christmas card I liked for sending my friend, in a red and green "painted" holly design I liked, with a sincereand simple greeting.  We also found a lovely tree-like card for him last night, I'll have Boss and some otherssign and I'll mail out.  "The" party store last night had some New Year's Eve items out, also.  What the heck, fast-forward through holidays, by the time this package gets to him, it'll be close enough to New Year's!  I got a party hat thingy, and some small noisemakers to add.  Happy new year:)

It's not too late to thank those who have been wounded, simply say you care, and are thinking of those who are serving our country -- Kathi has compiled many sources in a recent blog entry -- suitable for individuals or scout troops or whomever -- a lot of information here:  Operation Santa-Now THREE Ways to Send Christmas Cards to Wounded Warriors

Some day, perhaps there will be peace on all the earth, and all those brave (or scared) souls out aiming to be peacemakers, can be home:)


  1. I Love the things you picked out to send in the box, am sure your friend will,also :)

    Thanks for helping spread the word for me, about the different ways to send cards to the wounded.

    Another great post!  and you're in my prayers always, but especially throughout the holiday season, your first one without your Dad.


  2. Yeah the first year is the hardest.  Take care of yourself. ~ Mike

  3. Such a lovely posting this is today,you touched my heart plenty with your words.Yes it's very sad at all times of the year but especiially when they cannot be home with loved ones for Christmastime etc.Myheart would bleed for my own I am sure.I do think of eveyone often in these situations.I am sure whatever you send will be much looked forwrd to and appreciated.God Bless Them all.Sorry it will be one without Dad this year.Look after yourself.Take Care God Bless Kath

  4. There was one Christmas when all I asked God for was PEACE. My ex was always fighting. So glad I am not in the middle of that. War comes in all places, not just Iraq.

  5. That first year after you lose somebody appears to be the hardest, Robin, although it never gets easy. Especially around Christmas time. Copy your wishes for peace...

  6. Thank you all.  Putting up the tree at my mother/stepfather's was full of memories making me sad, while building future memories for my daughter.  Balanced by better days:)
    And, Win, you are SO right and I so agree -- war and the need to peace come in many fashions and relationships.  Peace to you all!

  7. This was a lovely entry, your words are true and eloquently written.  I too wish for peace, I also dislike war very much.  My thoughts are with them daily and more so at this time of year when the local news allows them air time to send their families a greeting.  It pulls on my heart, thinking where they are and what they are going through.  I hope you have a peaceful holiday season as well, I am sure it will be difficult without your dad.  My thoughts are with you, the holidays can be so hard sometimes.  

  8. The sad truth is, this side of Heaven, it often takes a man or men willing to stand a line drawn in the sand to make peace, maintain peace, secure peace.  To honor, thank and remember them in this season of peace is only right.

    I hope you enjoy your Christmas season.  I know how rough it can be getting used to holidays without certain loved ones.  -  Barbara

  9. Beautifully said. Regardless of how you feel about the war, our friends and family members who are there need our support, and I imagine it's especially important at this time of year.

    My Christmas card this year is my favorite of any I've sent out over the years. A statue of an angel has his head bent over his praying hands, while a house finch sits on his shoulder. Inside, it says simply "Peace on Earth." A simple sentiment that think we can all agree on.

    Take care,