Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Good-Bye Post

Well. That day, the one I knew was coming, has come and gone. Young Sgt is on his way to Kuwait, then on to Iraq. I had asked Some Soldier’s Mom if I could excerpt parts of this post, because no one has ever said it better. I keep this bookmarked for the times when I really need to know someone else gets it.

People -- especially other mothers -- tell me that they can not imagine what that would be like... that they would be a basket case 24 hours a day. Yes, that's it. It's like you live standing on your tippy-toes every day your child is away... and you live on the edge of breathlessness... a mental asthma attack gasping and gasping for strength and sanity and peace of mind. On the outside, we smile bravely and say, "you find the strength." And we do find the strength, but the truth is that we really only find distractions from our worry, our anxiety, our heartache.
We go to jobs. We try to maintain some semblance of our lives, but those lives have changed. And we blog. We write letters. We send cards. We shop for things to send our soldiers. We pack things for our soldiers. We stand in line at the post office to mail things to our soldiers.
We talk about them. We live for the opportunity to talk with them. Then we talk to others about what we talked about with our soldiers. And we wait for another chance to talk to them again.

That anxiety...it’s a constant little alert going off in your mind, a sentinal of your awareness checking for the slightest change in the unknown.

We listen for our phones... for the special rings we have programmed so we know if we have to answer that call. We forward phones; we pull to the side of the road to text message back to our soldiers; we give up our place in grocery store lines to run outside so the reception on the phone is better when they call. We get used to the smiling stares from people when we say, "I'm sorry, I have to take this call... my son is calling from Iraq." And we wouldn't care if they did mind -- we're taking that call no matter what.

And I have done that- kept my phone on in meetings, walking out suddenly when it rings and caller ID tells you, yes, it’s him!

We cry. We cry when they haven't called or written and we cry when they do. We cry because we miss them and because we are so frightened for them. We cry when they leave and when they return and then leave again... We find that the smallest of things make us teary-eyed... walking in their room... seeing a picture... seeing a soldier. Watching the news, reading the news, hearing the news. Yes, we cry. There's nothing like a good cry to set your head straight.

God, do I cry. Me, who never cried when my grandparents or close friends have died, cry every time I hear Darryl Worley on the radio.

We can not see a soldier anywhere without approaching them and thanking them and telling them that we, too, have a soldier.... because we all know that all soldiers have the same blood and speaking with that soldier makes us feel like we are talking to our soldier. We hug them if they let us -- and we hug them whenever we can. And we know somewhere there is a mom thanking us for taking the time to talk to (and for hugging) her soldier. She would do the same for me.
If we can not speak to that John Doe soldier, we smile wistfully... we get a pang... and our eyes may fill with tears knowing that when we look at that soldier, we are looking at our own soldier. Ask any soldier's mom -- she'll tell you... It's a universal response.
And mixed with this fear and longing is pride. Indescribable pride for these children of ours. Pride that they made the choice to serve. Pride that they accepted the challenge and met it spectacularly! Pride that they do their jobs under the most extraordinary of circumstances. We often ask ourselves, "Did I raise this person?" "How could I have done things so right?" We know we are blessed to have these spectacular creatures in our lives.

I just can’t say it any better than that.

So, we have said our good-byes for now, and made our promises to each other: that he will take care and come home safe, and we will send anything he needs and take care of his wife as much as she lets us. (love you, DIL!)
No words of what if or anything, just love and support as it should be.


At 11/06/2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post brought me to tears. So very bittersweet.

He is in my prayers. As are you and his wife.

And let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do. Mail something, do something or even just lend an ear.

I'm here.....


At 11/07/2007, Blogger Stacy said...

Been there and done that, and I am so thankful that I had Some Soldiers Mom to go through my son's deployment with. She was my rock and I was hers. You can not find a better person on this earth than her.

Please know that I will keep you and your son in my thoughts and prayers.

At 11/08/2007, Anonymous Mrs. Who said...

{{{{RM and family}}}} Prayers coming your way.


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