Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fortitude, Perseverence, and Faith

This is my oldest son and his wife, taken about a year and a half ago when they'd only been married for several months. These two haven't even celebrated their second anniversary yet, and already they've been through so much.

It seems that nowadays, people expect life to be a piece of cake--sort of an earthly paradise--and sometimes call it quits when things get too hard. Not these two: no, they have gotten through what can only be called an extremely difficult beginning to both their courtship and their marriage, and they've not only accepted their circumstances, but dealt with them with an extraordinary amount of grace. They are both perfect examples of the virtues of fortitude and perseverence in action. And they both have the key ingredient to surviving hardships such as theirs: the deep faith which is needed to get through all of life's trials and tribulations.

The year they were engaged, my son was deployed to Iraq, and they kept in touch via Skype while my son helped to defend our nation against terrorism and my daughter-in-law planned their wedding. Two months after my son's return, they were married. (What a joyous occasion!) They barely had time to settle into their married life together when, ten months after their wedding, my son left for another year-long deployment, this time to Afghanistan. And then, shortly after he arrived at his post, we got a call from him: they were expecting...and not only that, but they were expecting twins.

My daughter-in-law moved back home with her family so that they could support her through her pregnancy and help out when the babies were born, and she carried the twins--identical twin baby girls--until they were just days away from what is considered full-term for twins. Each baby weighed as much as many single-birth babies do, and the three of them were home from the hospital within four days. The babies are over three months old now, and growing like weeds; they've already outgrown their three month-sized outfits. They are happy, chubby little dolls, healthy and thriving under their mother's watchful eye. It's tough enough to care for one new baby when your husband is around; but their mommy has had to take care of two, and she's had to do it solo. My daughter-in-law is a slim, small-boned person, sweet and soft-spoken, but don't let that soft exterior fool you; she's one of the strongest and most courageous people I know.

My son got to spend a few weeks of leave with his wife and daughters when the babies were about a month old. Otherwise, he's had to be satisfied with seeing his family in 2D on a computer screen when he Skypes with his wife. But he's on the home stretch now, just weeks away from returning home--thank God! The weeks can't go by quickly enough! These two exceptional young people will be rewarded soon for their fortitude, perseverence, and faith--and hopefully their days of living apart are over, once and for all!

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