Being home for the holidays is something most of us take for granted. Military families understand just how difficult this time of year can be—especially with their loved ones away. One military wife just happened to capture the feelings she and many other families are experiencing in a photograph. Andrea Smith managed to include her deployed husband in this year’s Christmas card, and people everywhere can relate.
She posted the Christmas photo she’s sending to friends and family this year to Facebook, and the post has gotten lots of attention—for good reason. It’s adorable and heart-breaking at the same time.
The photo shows Smith and her daughter at Target. Smith is sitting on the floor in the toy section while her daughter is climbing on top of the grocery cart to reach something. We’ve all been there! But, thankfully, Smith’s husband is also pictured with his arms outstretched, as if he’s ready to catch the little girl should she fall. Yeah—grab the tissues.
Smith captioned the photo, “When you see our Christmas card, we truly hope it spreads holiday cheer & giggles.” She also admitted, “Deployments are HARD. I struggle A LOT and somedays I want to throw in the towel and beg the Marine Corps to return my husband and her daddy to us, but we all know thats not how this lifestyle works.”
And those in similar circumstances began sharing stories of their own.
“Spent 20 years in the AF. Deployed several times and I think the Holidays are the hardest on both members. Thanks for your service and May God place you and bring your husband home safe,” one veteran wrote.
Admittedly, Smith wasn’t expecting the photo to garner the attention that it did.
She told People magazine, “When we created this card, it was just so we could give a little lighter, happier feel to a crappy situation, but still have something to send to our family and friends,” she said. “I never expected the outpouring of kindness, prayers, and love from everyone—including strangers!”
It’s not only the holidays that are difficult for these families, unfortunately. Moments such as births, pregnancies, birthdays and more can be missed while serving. But, that’s the sacrifice these brave people are willing to make for our country. And it can yield some pretty beautiful moments when captured in a photo.
Veronica Phillips masterfully included her husband in her maternity photoshoot, and the stunning photo will give you chills:
Wishing all the best to the Smith family and any other military family this holiday season and in all of life’s moments.