Monday, February 8, 2010

And so she's home from Afghanistan...

Friday evening I had the unrivaled pleasure of hugging my daughter as she returned from her tour of duty in Afghanistan. Together with my better half and my son-in-law, we headed out for some fine Indian food. We had a very nice evening, following which they returned home with us for some tea and conversation.

I didn't pry or seek to have her dwell on her time spent over there, but I did ask a couple of questions which were aimed at giving me some sort of idea of where her head was at. There had been a few occasions when they endured their night mortar strikes, when she was growing more concerned. Notably near the end of her tour. She started thinking: "Just watch something stupid happen now...". But no, all was well.

I could see the fatigue on her face, the physical toll such a deployment had taken on her. I know nothing of what might be going on inside her. Perhaps over time, she will trust me enough to share that too. All I could feel was this immense sense of relief, mixed with pride and an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for the little girl I had known, so long ago now. You really can't protect them from life. All you can do I suppose, is be there to help them through it.

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