I am also crying writing this post....a) they are I am so exhausted tears and b) because my heart aches for so many of you who are separated this Christmas.
I have spent Christmases with my husband deployed and the memory of those times are etched deep within me, I didn't want to put a tree up, I didn't want to be festive, I didn't want to go to parties and I didn't want to hear of all the lovely things everyone else was doing with their families because mine was fragmented.
Nothing I write will make you feel better about a solo Christmas and there is no right or wrong way for you to get through the next couple of weeks, but just know that you will, I promise.
Over the last week I have met lots of Little Troopers and their families through some projects we have worked on with LaplandUK, firstly we reunited two families which was one of the most rewarding things I have ever witnessed. From sitting with the nervous dad's waiting to see their families after months and months, to standing outside the Santa lodge hearing the sobs from children who were finally reunited with their parents to crying silently with the team who brought it together to watching the children wearing the biggest smiles walking hand in hand with the early Christmas present they had so longed for. I will never forget that day.
|Waiting to hear the cue to reunite our Royal Navy dad with his Little Troopers|
A few days later I was back at snowy LaplandUK this time with military families who had someone deployed over Christmas this year, to sprinkle some Christmas magic.
I get so emotional because it is always so close to home for me; I've felt that longing to cuddle my husband, I have felt that sadness of a Christmas on my own, I have felt that resentment of other people enjoying time together, I have felt that helplessness when my daughter misses her dad so much. Those tears are because I'm living and breathing this life right by your side.
The LaplandUK scheme doesn't cost the charity any money just time and love and energy to bring it together and I can't lie, it is always stressful in December but as I am winding down for the holidays I can sit and smile and know I did my very best to make as many Little Troopers as possible make a memory even though Mummy or Daddy wont be at home this Christmas and I am sending all my love and hugs to you.
As you know my husband deploys in the New Year so I am tip toeing into this Christmas with the black cloud slowly creeping into my consciousness, I know its on the horizon and that brings that weird feeling in my tummy when I think about it which will only get more frequent as deployment day looms. Right now though we are working our way though that list of endless festive things I booked to bimble though hopefully making some nice memories (read previous post here on this!)
I will write an after Christmas post and let you know how it goes and I will also write a post about what to buy the military partner who is going away for most of the following year! I've struggled but there's a few things I've found that I want to share, you might find them useful (obvs can't write it yet pre Christmas as he tends to be a lurker and reads these posts sometimes!)
I should also touch on The Sun newspaper article that ran last week about the charity, you can read it HERE, Little Troopers is in dark times financially with the pennies seriously drying up. The thought of having to close the charity makes my heart actually hurt and I really will fight until the last penny, I've not given up and a few amazing people are helping me to try and secure funding, raise money, pull together and make sure that Little Troopers remains. I will keep you posted.
Whatever your situation this Christmas remind yourself it is just one day, just another roast and time will pass bringing your light at the end of the tunnel closer. Be kind to yourself and know you aren't alone.
To all of you who have been so supportive over the last week or so THANK YOU, you are making me more determind then ever to carry on and to all of you who I have met in the last few days you have reminded me why I founded Little Troopers and why it is so important the charity is here for military children.
All my love and hugs, I will be thinking of so many of you over the next week so. Louise xxx
|From me and the big man in red HAPPY CHRISTMAS!|