Ben Stein raved about how selfless military families are. I have a story about one of them.
Christmas 2004 my husband was in Iraq, and I was sitting childless, petless, and alone in my home in Germany. I tried hard to muster the Christmas spirit, sitting under my tree watching Rudolph and opening the presents my mom had sent.
And it could've been the loneliest day ever, were it not for a selfless military family.
My husband had already come and gone for R&R, but my best friend's husband was getting home on his R&R that Christmas morning. What an exciting and wonderful day to show up back at home! They would've been perfectly justified in shutting themselves in, locking out the world and snuggling together on that special day.
Instead,they invited me to Christmas dinner.
My friend and I cooked while her husband lay zonked out on the sofa, weary from his trek back from Iraq. We woke him up when the food was ready and had a wonderful and delicious Christmas.
It was the most selfless thing anyone had done for me: invite me over so I wouldn't be lonely, even though it was their first day together as a couple in six months.
My friend and I baked a Snickers cheesecake that year for dessert, and now I've made it my Christmas tradition. That dessert brings a lump in my throat as I remember how loved and included my two good friends made me feel that year while my husband was gone. And I made the cheesecake last night and told the story again to new neighbors, so that everyone will hear my story of a very special Christmas and a very amazing couple who didn't hesitate to put others before themselves.
I should've told Ben Stein that story. Maybe next time.