This time of year always finds me “in a pickle” or quandary. I am festive, merry and bright on the outside, but underneath it all is a bit of melancholy. It’s normal and I am getting better at managing that side of me because there is just some stuff better not openly shared. So, why was I so thrown for a loop when I learned there was a side of William he chose not to share with his sailors and marines?
Almost 3 years ago Beau, a marine, and Brent, a navy corpsman, brought my boy home. Sitting on my living room couch thumbing through a photo album of William one of them remarked, “This is not the guy we knew.” The other chimed in, “We never saw him smiling or hugging anyone.” It’s that military training to be tough and unemotional. What a pickle William must have been in as that loving, smiling, bear-hugging side was such a huge part of who he was. Let’s let the photos speak for themselves.
Pretty certain you all thought I’d be sharing some kind of pickle recipe with you today, but I don’t pickle. Why bother when there are so many briny delicious local products to try at the farmer’s market? I will, however, share with you one of my all-time favorite family holiday traditions called “finding the pickle”. It all started when the kids were quite little, but able to help me decorate the Christmas tree. After they went to bed, a final ornament, a pickle or gherkin, in our case, was hidden in the boughs. In the morning, we’d have such fun as Caitlin and William jostled for position searching for the pickle. It was a friendly competition with the most observant receiving an extra gift. It should come as no surprise to Will’s military family that he was quite the eagle eye and usually victorious.