"If Only In My Dreams"

  1. Spoke with my daughter Melanie in Iraq last night........she and her her dh were supposed to come back to the States for Christmas, but they didn't put in for leave soon enough and they're going to have to wait till next month. Which is OK for them since they'll get to be with the baby on his first birthday, but here I'd sent their gifts to the other grandparents' house, and now they won't get them until well after Christmas.

    She was all sorts of cheery about it, told me not to worry because they knew they had something to look forward to. But this kid, she blew through about a thousand bucks just for gifts for the family---including a heated massage office chair for me (!)---and I'm just sick that they won't have theirs in time. She says, "Mom, we're making all kinds of money right now, we can afford it." I say she's incredibly generous, incredibly brave, and incredibly grown-up for someone who's turning 22 tomorrow.

    So this morning I was sitting in the dining room, sipping my coffee and feasting aurally on the new Josh Groban Christmas CD, Noel, when "I'll Be Home for Christmas" came on. That song has always made me a bit sad, even when I was a kid and my brother-in-law was in Vietnam, and I'd think of all the soldiers who couldn't be home for Christmas. But interspersed with Josh Groban's rich, smooth voice were recorded messages to and from servicemen and women in Iraq and their families, speaking of hope and love and longing..........and I just lost it. I hadn't cried in all the time since Melanie left, but suddenly I was bawling like a baby, right in front of my 16-year-old son, who is NOT used to such displays of raw emotion and looked rather alarmed.

    I must credit him with enough presence of mind to ask if I was all right, and the courage not to flee when I had to admit I wasn't. The episode didn't last long---I regained my composure within minutes---but in the verses of that song were the anxieties and the desperate yearnings I've kept hidden away, in fact I buried them so deep that I didn't even realize they were there. Only in my dreams will my baby girl be celebrating Christmas at home this year; only in my dreams will she open her gifts and squeal with delight over each one, as if it were the best present ever. No, my child is half a world away..........twenty-two going on forty, with a thirst for adventure that I'll never understand and a life of her own waiting for her across the continent when she finally does return "home".

    Someone much wiser than I once said, "We raise our children to leave us". It would have been nice if he or she had given a few hints about how to deal when an old song makes me wish (however briefly) that Christmas could once again be the way it used to be...........if only in my dreams.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Dec 16, '07
  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Simplepleasures
    Oh my gosh! They have a baby?!As a military Mom,I know what it is not to have your daughter with you at Christmas and she being in Iraq must be especially hard.Well next month will be a great reunion for your family!Your daughter at 22 sounds like a wonderful mature responsible young women, you are right to be very proud of her.
  4. by   tnbutterfly
    Oh...I feel for you. When I heard the Josh Groban version of that song just last week...I thought to myself.....This Christmas must be so hard for the men and women serving their country so far away from their homes and families. It brought tears to my eyes just to think of the pain and longing these people and their loved-ones must be feeling. Please know how proud and thankful I and others are for what your daughter and her husband are doing.

    I am missing my own kids who are both so far away right now...but they will be here in about a week. I can't even imagine what you are feeling as a mother. Hugs to you and your family.

    Just remember......your family will be with you in spirit. I know it's not as good as being with you in person......but hang on to the thought that they will be with you soon.
  5. by   dianah
    ((((((((((((((((( Marla ))))))))))))))))))
  6. by   Grace Oz

    No point me writing words, there are none!
  7. by   elthia
  8. by   nursemary9
    ((((((((((((((((((((((((Dear Marla)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    I have been following your threads about Melanie for so long!!
    You must also be so PROUD of them!!
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your children.She & your Son-In-law are heros, as are all the men & women serving our Country!
  9. by   Justhere
    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((MARLA))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))))))))))))))

    Melanie is probably feeling the same way, that she will be home for Christmas if only in her dreams.

    My sil got to come home from Iraq, right before my daughter was born and right before the diagnosis of her dad with teriminal lung cancer. She says it is wonderful to get to spend Christmas at home this year since she spent the last one away.
  10. by   Joe NightingMale
    Music has a way of getting to you, of letting some of the emotion out.

    It always takes some time to adjust to not having someone around, be it friend or family member, especially around the holidays. Just trust in the fact that you will indeed adjust.
  11. by   rn/writer
    Marla, sweetie, Melanie is an amazing young woman. You done good, momma. It has to be hard to wait another month to see your baby girl, but she and Bryan Sr. will have a much easier travel experience after the holidays and, as you said, they'll get to spend Bryan Jr.'s first birthday with him.

    "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is such a tear-jerker song to begin with. Then add your own personal soldiers and it turns into a real gully-washer. You've had so much to deal with in these last months, you probably benefitted from having a good cry. At least, I hope you did.

    So many people are praying for you and yours. Does Melanie know she has all these virtual aunties and uncles keeping track of her adventures? Tell her we wish her a happy 22nd birthday. She is tremendously strong and mature. We're all proud of her and Bryan Sr.
    And of you, dear friend, for keeping the home fires burning.

    Hugs all round to you and your family.
  12. by   DDRN4me
    (((((Marla)))))) I can totally understand the "meltdown""...and dont apologize...you earned it, you deserve it and it is healthy for you... Please send Melanie our birthday and Christmas wishes and a truly sincere, from the heart thank you.... from a mil who has been in your position. I will be praying for a wonderful reunion next month when you have Christmas Thanksgiving and dgs birthday all rolled into one!!! Mary
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Geez, it must be something in the air Marla. I was standing on our front porch last night, with my in-laws sitting in chairs in front of me and my son jumping wildly up and down as the lighted Christmas parade came by our house and I was thinking of my 3 kids who were not here and how fast time flies and I just started crying. Seems like everything makes me cry these days.

    I'm so glad they are going to be home soon for at least a visit.


  14. by   TazziRN
    Awww, Marla, as a mom I understand what you're going through. I hated having to alternate Christmases with Hubs's ex, but at least my kids were on the same continent as us. I know you want them home for Christmas, but a trip home next month will be easier and more enjoyable.