We're all on the same page now, the children and their mothers and I. It went as well as can be expected, really. Of course the children cried. And I did, too. I didn't actually shed a tear, but my eyes stung like hell and welled up. I already cried like a baby a week or so ago. It hurts. It hurts a lot.
No parent likes to see their children cry.
There are four of them. Two daughters, aged fourteen and four; and two sons, aged eleven and eleven months. I will miss the baby's first birthday. I was there for his birth by C-section last January, though. There are a lot of Servicemen out there who have missed that event. Due to the failure of my relationship with his mother, I have missed a lot of other firsts, and so it goes with this.
Not all pain is losing a limb, or leaves you bleeding. Those are obvious sacrifices, but this one, just like that any Service member with a family suffers, is a wound nonetheless. Freedom is not free. Liberty has a license fee. The children pay that license fee, too. They are giving their father for their country. And so it goes. The fees keep racking up, and this tax man only accepts one payment: pain.
I don't mean to whine, but my wound was opened today. It was both liberating and like salting the wound. It is no longer a secret, that burden was lifted; but the fresh pain of seeing my children cry was my own twin towers crashing to the ground. It is a quiet, civilized kind of horror.
The goodbyes will be worse. I will miss them, and they will miss me, and so it goes.
I don't feel hate, but I am really pissed with Osama and Ayman today.
Well, the kids had a great Christmas, and I didn't ruin it with my revelation. I did what I said I was going to do, and it's over now. We move on, but we move on from here on the same page. I think I did the right thing.
I think I'm doing the right thing with all of this.
Side note: Scott Kesterson posted today for the first time in about two months. I was thrilled. That guy is my freakin hero. I hope to meet him in-country. I was actually starting to worry about him, because he had not posted for so long.
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a long list of thankfuls...
22 hours ago