A few months ago I had a note from Haleigh ~ she was excited to see the addition of Rudy the Ram in my Etsy shop, because one of her two sons carries the nickname of "Ram." As the mother of two boys myself, I remember well ~ if you buy one critter you must by another ~ so Rudy and Toby were on their way to Haleigh's two little boys.
What I didn't know until just recently is that they were surprise gifts for the boys from Mommy and Daddy to let them know that their Daddy was thinking of them. Because, you see, Daddy is a Sargent in the United States Marines and as a member of the 26th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) was deployed to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Italy, Africa and Greece (with a lot of time spent on a ship in those areas) for almost 9 months. Scary stuff.
Haleigh provided the image you see here ~ the top and bottom photos are the boys saying (as she so sweetly put it) their "see you laters" and the center photo is Dad returning home safely and embracing his precious little boys.
I was so touched by Haleigh's story ~ honored that she chose Rudy and Toby for such meaningful gifts at such an important time in her children's lives and honored that she shared it with me. Thank you seems inadequate, but thank you Sgt. Johnson for your service and to Haleigh and the boys, thank you for your sacrifice and your service as well.
I can't say it enough ~ stories like Haleigh's are why I love what I do. It brings wonderful people like Haleigh and her family into my life. And I am grateful for that.