Each morning I wake up, open the curtains in our bedroom and fill my lungs with the warm air that follows the butterflies. The butterflies are in my dreams. They guide you to me each night when my eyes are closed. Before I went to sleep, I said a prayer for you. I prayed for your safety and for your return into our home. With a few tears to remind myself I am human, my heavy heart begins to fill with pride. I can’t imagine what you see each day. I dream of your face at night. I can’t tell you the fears I have for you and for those that stand next to you. I could never create a bond with someone here the way you’ve created bonds with those that keep you safe. Those that fight for the freedom I have to open my window each morning and watch the butterflies.
With each hand print, each stroke of paint, with each stitch, we say thank you. Thank you for the pride you carry with you each day to stand for those you do not know. Thank you for your time; the time you give to children that are hurt, women that are forgotten and men that are lost. The time away from those that love you; the time from those you love. To pass on your pride to a stranger you will never see again is a gift only you can give. Thank you.
In this time when you may feel lost and cold and alone, wrap yourself in love. Love from your families, from your friends and from strangers that just want to say thank you. When you are standing for our freedom, when you are rescuing someone from war, when you are fighting an enemy we can’t begin to imagine, stand strong, be well and fight free. When you are sick or wounded, wrap yourself in this quilt and know you are loved. You are not forgotten. Your pride lies in your country. Our pride lies in you. Be warm. Be safe. Thank you.
I wrote this about seven years ago to go on a quilt a group on mothers with young children were making for wounded warriors. Today, I still thank them and those that gave everything they had and more.