BBQ. Family. Good laughs. I’m not sure there is anything more southern than gathering around a grill and cookin’ up a good time!
This past weekend, my family had a lot to celebrate. My cousin, Emily, and her husband who moved to Dallas came into town, and my brother-in-law, Dave, who was deployed to South Korea at the end of May, was also able to visit us this past weekend. My heart glowed as I watched him, my sister and their three kids reunite after being apart for 3 months. Watching each hug he gave, I couldn’t help but feel the bond of family and to also, for a brief moment, recognize the sting of being separated.
I contemplated keeping this post positive and only sharing the wonderful time we all had noshing on ribs, sausage and too much food in general, and though it would be the truth, it wouldn’t be authentic.
Both of my grandpas were in the military, and my mom especially, is familiar with the frequent travel and longing for home that comes with it. Up until May, Dave was close enough to home to commute in on weekends, so he didn’t seem so far. Being in South Korea though, there is a rough 14-hour time difference, wicked jet-lag and the pang of distance. Dave could no longer drive in on a whim. He was halfway around the world waking up when we were going to sleep. (The kids think he’s in the future. 🙂 )
It didn’t all make sense before, but it does now. My grandpas and Dave are not only sacrificing their comforts for their country; they are sacrificing their comforts for their families. The old adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is especially true in today’s digital age. For families living long distance, you can Skype but can’t feel the warmth of someone’s arms wrapped around you. You can FaceTime but still long for your son’s hand to be holding your own. The emotions and adjustments all military families have to go through is tremendous, and deserves to be mentioned, not ignored.
America was built with battles and glory, but what is often forgotten is that it was also built with support and family. No matter the distance, there is no greater tie than that of your own blood, and knowing that there is someone back home anxiously awaiting your arrival. Family is worth fighting for and family is worth sacrificing for, and that is exactly what so many of today’s soldiers are doing.
Although we will soon be again counting the days until Dave returns home, it was a beautiful moment to celebrate his homecoming with some homemade BBQ.
To the past, present and future soldiers – I thank you for your service, for honoring our country, and for protecting the sacred bond of family with all that you have. <3
Now, on a lighter note, here are some tasty BBQ pics made possible by my uncle/grill master, Leroy, and some family lovin’ goodness! 🙂