You are looking at the best Christmas present I ever delivered. My best friend, Pam, has been in Iraq for a year with six months to go. She found out she was getting leave for the holidays and wanted to surprise her family. The surprise was a major undertaking, and for a day or two I didn't think we were going to pull it off. Without our friend and photographer extraordinaire, Amanda, we couldn't have done it. It's an exciting story, and I'll share the details in another post.
Now in the early hours of Christmas morning, I am thankful to have my friend back.I am blessed to have given her three girls and her husband the only gift that matters. Nothing my own boys will open in the morning even comes close.
Two moments will define Christmas for me this year. The first happened at the airport. Pam came down the escalator at baggage claim and we hugged and it was wonderful, then as she was taking her bag off the carousel, another lady, a complete stranger, quietly touched her on the arm and said, "Thank you."
The second happened at her house. When Pam walked through the door, I watched the look on her husband's face change from shock to disbelief to joy all in the fraction of a second. The soundtrack to this moment? Three girls letting loose with a scream that started at ear-piercing decibels and ending as something that only dogs could hear.
Enjoy your family and friends today, and say a prayer for those soldiers who didn't get to hug their husbands and wives and kids.