Early morning, barely light. I hear the sounds of heavy footsteps upstairs and baggage being taken out the door to the car. We rise to say our goodbyes, and cheerfully kiss and hug and say all the normal things about driving safe and calling when you get home. One last kiss and off they go.
Our two sons that are leaving are well into manhood and do not need to see the tears that come as soon as I shut the front door. A mothers heart never changes…in the sense that we still want our children where we can see them! I know that this is not really what I want. I am proud of the independence of both these young men. One serving our country and the other staring a new business on his own in another state.
As the tears subside, I pray for thier safety, and thank God for the wonderful times we had while they were home. One day soon I will get the photos out of the camera and make a memory of these last two weeks. This is important for my grandchildren. The Israelites in the Old Testament used stones to make remembrances of the things God gave them. This will be my pile of stones that I will use to teach them to have a thankful heart. We do not always get life on a platter, they way we want it to be. It is a gift of God to see the good, to be grateful and to look back with joy on our life.
Today is the last day our son Justin is home on leave. So many want to see him, and the time goes by so fast, we are left feeling like the time that is about to end has hardly begun. Our son Ryan will also head home to Kansas, the two of them making it way too quiet here! I think that all of us experience this in life. Our humanity always wants more, and we forget to soak up the sun!
Today I am fighting this, because the natural tendency is to begin the disconnect to help the pain diminish. We start this a few days ahead, and to not do it takes some work.
I used to tell my daughter (who is adopted and had abandonment issues) that when people actually leave, then we can cry, but until it happens we will be happy and enjoy each moment.
I try and look at the grandchildren today and enjoy the fun that are having with Daddy, not think of the days ahead when we wish we could tell him something or share something together. This is Military life, and life in general actually. I remember many long days with my husband in the restaurant business when I longed for family time.
So..remember to enjoy the day. The sun will set and another day will come around. Being happy is honestly a choice made, not a thing that happens to you. Happy comes with the knowledge that things will never be perfect in this world, but with a grateful heart we enjoy what is offered. We know that life is sadness and joy, all in the same day. Today the sun is still shining . Tomorrow the goodbyes will be hard, but the warmth of today will still be felt.
Well, I just got off the phone with our son who has orders to go to Germany in December. As we are talking about his visit at the end of this week, he mentions that this time is not considered a deployment. He also said that they would give him a chance to come home one more time before he leaves..for three years.
This is very nice of them, of course. We will happily have him home as much as we can get him! During his time in Germany, it is likely he will be deployed for some time to Afghnistan. But, this is not a deployment. It feels like one. Of course I am happy that he will not be in the line of fire, at least for awhile!
For his children, and for us, who are here at home, the result is a deployment. He is there and we are here, packing boxes and writing e-mails. This is part of the army life, and we are a Military Family.
Paula and I have had a great time working with kids! Paula wrote the Creed of a Soldiers Child that is in the back of our first book We Serve Too! A Child’s Deployment Book. Then, after we found that kids love the creed, she put it to music ( I have a very talented partner!)
We decided that since the kids love the song , we would have some kids sing it for you on YouTube! Now , you have to understand that for two grandmothers to get anything up on YouTube, takes a major push, since I know that I am afraid of technology at times. My friend Andrew Chism told me it was really easy though, so I decided to give it a try…Viola! (sorry Andrew, I know I said I would pay you to do it)
I cannot get my blogsite to allow the download, so I have to just link it here for you, so you can take a look. It is not professionally done, but the kids are cute, the song says it all for Military Families “You’re a Team!”
Every year, it rolls around. We take the horror that we felt that day , look at our hearts again , and remember. I have a flag I fly in my yard. It has a name on it of one of the victims of that horrible act, and a note from a child that says: “you died from terrorists.” We have a war on terror, but terror is a darkness that we cannot fully comprehend. We try and imagine how we can war against it when it is elusive, and so far reaching, like a grey mist rising in places we do not expect. Terror is a tool used by evil, to control the minds and when possible, the hearts of those who cannot or will not fight. Those who are weak are overcome first, and those who stand strong suffer, sometimes at the hand of the very ones they try to protect. I wonder about this as our son begins another journey across the ocean in this war on terror. I think of the people who so wonderfully show their appreciation to our Military, and those who do not get what it is they do for them. Our brave sons and daughters protect them all. Today on September 11 th, think hard about the sacrifices being made on your behalf. There are sons and daughters who take the worry of parents with them as they go, fathers and mothers leaving little ones to grow, seeing the milestones from far away. Many are impacted by the lives of those we send to protect our homeland. Thank you to each and every one, to soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines, guardsmen, police and firefighters. To wives and parents and children back home. God Bless you all!
Troop tube has a video for everyone in the Military Family. I came upon this one on service dogs for wounded vets. The story of how these dogs can help is a good one for children who may be coping with a wounded parent…of course they will want a dog to join their family, so make that adult decision before showing the video to the kids! This is a program well worth exploring if you or a loved one are in this situation.
Paula and I are in the research and development phase of our third book for children. This book will address the experiences of a parent returning home wounded.
To those Families living this, we just want to say thank you for the sacrifices you have made and are making. We also want to offer our prayers for the recovery of your family.
Today we had lunch with our dear friend Elaine Dumler. Her books I’m already Home… Again, and her newest, The Road Home, are staples in the Military world. These books give helpful tips, advice and stories of real life Military Families and how they cope with deployment and reunion.
Paula and I are blessed with not only a great business relationship with Elaine (she carries our books in packages with her books),but we share the passion to help and address the struggles common to all Military Families. http://www.imalreadyhome.com/cart.htm :this link takes you to Elaine’s store page that features several packages that have books on deployment, reunion or both, for adults and children to help smooth the rocky road of being separated from loved ones.
If it were not for Elaine’s support and coaching, we would never have had the joy of publishing books that reach the littlest members of the Military Family. We hope you will visit her website and check out all the helps and offerings there!http://www.imalreadyhome.com/index.html
Today we hear that our son has orders. He has not even been home two weeks, and already they have decided on his leaving. This is not a complete surprise, since we know as a Military Family, this is how it works. I guess I had hoped for some breathing room!
He has an apartment, one that he now does not need to worry about decorating, or buying anything for. After a year away in Iraq, we had visions of sugerplums dancing in our heads, that maybe he might be here for Christmas. Instead it seems December he will be embarking on a brand new adventure, one I hope will be a good one.
Germany seems to be a theme in this family . My parents were stationed in Berlin in WWII, my daughter has a new boyfriend that is a german citizen, and now Justin is heading there as well. Three years seems a bit long, but I remind myself that we do not honestly know what a day will bring, no sense griping about anything that far reaching. Who knows what will happen? Maybe we will all get an opportunity to see that beautiful country. Maybe he will find that this was a fabulous place to get to know.
The Army is an exciting ride, even when your heart wishes they would slow down a little and let you have your soldier once in awhile! It won’t be easy, but as our book We Serve Too! A Child’s Deployment Book says “our family’s tough!”