These boys are my family and I had an absolutely wonderful week with them here at Michael and Monika’s new home. I couldn’t take a step forward, or backward, without their presence right there under my feet! They were protecting me at all times and, of course, hoping for another cheese snack 😃. Their love is completely unconditional and comforting💛. It was so much fun hanging with these two grand pups🐶. Max is our Corgi. Jackson is our Brown Lab.
I remember the Christmas Eve that Max came into our family. We had gone out to San Diego for Nick’s return from deployment, which was called the “Christmas Miracle” because they almost didn’t make it back that day. In fact, all the families waited the entire day into the late afternoon for the LHA 5 (Ship Name) to arrive. It was so emotional for the sailors when they arrived at the port.
It was Christmas Eve and I’m certain they were overwhelmed and exhausted as well as anxious and excited to get off the ship and be reunited with their families! They finally disembarked and the joy on all of their faces was clearly seen! When I saw my son Nick, I cried too! It was a beautiful celebration.
Let me tell you, our military deserves our highest respect no matter what the social issues are at home. They are trained to protect “you and I”, who live in this wonderful county. They sacrifice so much for us!
So, we all get in the car for the long 5-hour drive back to Michael and Monika’s house in Ventura California. LA traffic is all they say it is! Horrible. I felt bad for Nick because he was still in his beautiful “Navy Whites”, he looked beyond handsome, but we were crunched in the back seat of the car with all his stuff from the ship. Lol.
When we finally arrived at M&M’s house, Michael shot out to pick up a Christmas present surprise for Monika. Yup, it was Max!
I’m so thankful for my family. I believe the best is yet to come for all of us. Like every other family, there have been a few struggles for each of us, along with the many joys. No family really ever grows without challenges and tears. So, I’m actually grateful for the trials that have made us only stronger. We should all be grateful for the families God has given us and appreciate and encourage each other every day. Time is moving very fast and we are not promised a “tomorrow.”
What an awesome Christmas Eve it was. We had Nick back safe from his deployment from Asia and a new member of the Vilardo family. “Little Maximus.” That was 7 years ago.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”James 4:13-14 ESV
Today is a gift!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”James 1:17 ESV