With this particular deployment, it was important to us that we all have a meaningful token, of some sort, to share during our time, geographically, apart. What we landed on was a piece of jewelery.
As you know by now, we're Irish. We wanted to honor our heritage and our faith, and especially our love for one another. So, we decided that Gary & I would get the Claddagh Celtic cross:
We all know what the cross stands for, but, in a typical Celtic cross, there's a circle that goes around the center point, to symbolize God's neverending love. In this necklace, the Claddagh replaces the circle, and is super meaningful to us. Its story goes like this :
Long ago a young man was captured and sold into slavery from the fishing village of Claddagh. Many years passed and he wondered if his true love would wait for him. Over the years he stole tiny bits of gold from his master to make her a ring. He fashioned a heart for love, a crown for loyalty and hands as a symbol of friendship. After many years he finally returned home to Claddagh. Upon his return and to his joy he discovered his true love had waited for him. He gave her the ring as a symbol of their love, loyalty and friendship forever known now as the Claddagh.
I love that story!
We decided to get Jake something different. We wanted to all three have the same, but Jake's little necklace seems much more appropriate, given his age. We chose the Irish Guardian Angel:
I don't know if you can tell, but the angel is holding a 3 leaf clover.
Gary should be able to wear his necklace, which I think is GORGEOUS. He can just keep it on under his ACU top, but there's something about us having 3 pieces of jewelery, which are symbolic to us, that is such a comfort. Kind of like a bond no one else has, maybe? And, no, genetics don't cover that ;)
I decided that I will take pictures the day Gary leaves. It was, kind of, up in the air because I thought they'd be too painful to look at. Some fellow Army wives have schooled me, though, and I'll be taking pictures. Anyway, you'll see our jewelery on in those pics.
It'll be a nice distraction for you from my tear-stained face!
Ok, friends....let's get ready to rock this year...we're about to enter a war zone.