Hello and hope you are all enjoying the holidays! I’m Gabriel, Bethany’s fiancé and the ineloquent writer filling in for her today. I promise she will be back soon. It’s just that I rarely feel like writing, but the holidays are a subject about which I’ve recently gained some understanding.
For the past 14 years I have either been in the military or serving with the military in some form or another. I can count on one hand the number of birthdays and Christmases I have actually been home to see. Over the years, when you are gone for more holidays than you’re home, you tend to let yourself think that a holiday is really just another day. You tell yourself there’s nothing special about the day; nothing to really miss. Over this last month though, I have realized that this is just a coping mechanism. Once you admit that you are missing out on something so special, so often, it suddenly becomes a big deal. You realize you’re missing out on a lot.
This Christmas will be my first at home in years. And I say “at home” because since meeting Bethany, I think of my home as wherever my beautiful fiancé is. It is not really a place that makes my home, but a person. Knowing that we’ll wake up on Christmas morning, see each other and open presents together makes me realize that I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. Being gone for so long, I kind of lost sight of that. They say you never really know what you have until you lost it, but I had the reverse of that. I never really knew what I was missing until I found her. Spending Christmas with Bethany is the best gift I could possibly receive.So, the best gift I can give to others is to remind them of the gift of experience. No matter how stressful Christmas can be with friends and family, don’t let yourself miss it. Stop and take it all in. After being away for so long, I know for sure that it’s the best thing in the world.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy every moment with family and friends.