Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My "Baby" is going

Raw, gut felt emotion. That's what I'm posting today. After a day of work and a couple of glasses of wine, I'm ready to unload. Our youngest is home for his "goodbye" visit. He got in this a.m. and spent most of the day w/ his sister. They're having a Ninja party Friday night and are working on costumes. I should say that WE are working on costumes. These two are 22 and 23 and I thought I was through with costumes. But my daughter has theme parties all the time and they always have a lot of fun. She is incredibly creative.

My son's unit had a briefing last night and whatever was said there has caused him to make a very important decision. He was recently given a P3 profile -- whatever that means -- and if he turned it in he would have either gotten 3 months of TOC duty w/ physical therapy in Iraq or stayed back for three months and done physical therapy at his post. He has decided to NOT turn in the new profile and is going with everyone else -- as everyone else. No special consideration of his knee surgery at all. He looks good, walks fine, his mood is good. Something flipped a switch in his mind last night and now he is either resolved or determined to spend the year+ in Iraq doing whatever is commanded of him. I'm very proud of him.

He's "my baby", though, and I'm heartbroken. As I mentioned in an earlier post, his Last Will and Testament arrived in the mail last Saturday. I asked him today if he couldn't have warned me about that. He said, "Oh, yeah, they told us to call home and tell you to expect it, I must have forgotten to do that." I told him that "next time" (as if there could be a next time) he MUST warn me and that how I felt when I opened that envelope was one of the worst experiences of my 51 years on this planet.

Watching my daughter and my son working together on their costumes was very nostalgic. It almost felt like it did when all the children were at home. "Empty nest" is hard enough without adding two of them being in a war. Now I've got at least six, if not eight, months with my two sons in Iraq. I wonder if they will ever see each other over there. The oldest is a company commander in the 1st Infantry and the youngest is a "grunt" in the 2nd Infantry. One is in Mosul, the other will be going to Baghdad as part of Pres. Bush's "surge".

Why, why, why, MY children. Of course, we always hear "better your son than mine." But every other soldier mother is just like me and just as deserving of their child(ren) returning to the US whole and ready to go on with "normal" life. I want grandchildren and lots of them. That's how I thought my life would be. We live in a small town, have been in the same (historic downtown) house for 20 years. I pictured all of my children marrying their high school sweethearts and living down the street with my grandchildren always coming over to visit. My oldest son's high school sweetheart does live "down the street" but she's married to someone else. And I love my son's wife very much.

When I was growing up we moved all over Florida. My father was a Baptist preacher and if you have any experience with Southern Baptists you know of all the turmoil they bring on themselves and then the pastor "has to go". (We've gone to the same Presbyterian church for over 15 years with the SAME PASTOR.) Anyway, my three brothers and I had NO ROOTS. So when I had children I vowed they would have roots and a "family home" to always return to. Even though none of their rooms are the way the left them, they LOVE coming here. My daughter still lives in this small town and my step daughter lives close by. But the boys -- they just had to go off on these Army adventures.

As a person I am all about JUSTICE. If I see anyone being mistreated or discriminated against I MUST take some kind off action to right the wrong. Maybe that's what infused my boys with the will to serve their country. It has certainly gotten me in a lot of trouble in my adult life. Most recently I suggested a discrimination in favor of a male co-worker and was interrogated by our HR person as if I was a criminal. But the company changed the situation with that male co-worker so I was right. But has anyone said anything to me about being right? Of course not.

I've been making a lot of contacts in the last few weeks. I'm trying to establish a support network to help me survive my two sons involvement in this war. I'm not alone and I know that. So if you're a Mom out there and can "feel my pain", please get in touch with me. Especially if you are in Florida. Let's get together and cry together.

If you listen to country music -- as I do -- listen to "The Baby" by Blake Shelton and cry along with me 'cause "that one is my baby".

10 comments:

jan wesner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jan wesner said...

Hey - your sons are truly special guys. I always tell my husband Mark I think he must have a screw loose doing what he does voluntarily, but really I know he has one of the best minds and hearts and souls that there is. So do your boys.
Jan (blogs.tampabay.com./standingby)

Stacy said...

Please don't hesitate to contact any of us, we are all here for you. Please tell your sons thank you from this military mom. They are our heroes and we as a military family will do whatever it takes to take care of our family. My blog is www.mysoldiermichael.blogspot.com.

Ronda said...

I wish I lived in Florida, I'd be right next to you! I'm in Oregon, that would be a long trip. Just know that I am there at heart! And know that when you cry, there are about 140,000 other Moms crying! Wish I could hug everyone of them!

Your boys are amazing! Hang in there, Mom!

liberal army wife said...

1st. Since son 2 sounds just like mine, bop him upside the head for NOT telling you. just a light tap, to remind him that he needs to worry about you.

we're here. and I hope you are able to find a group there in FL. Isn't the head of the FL soldier's angels in your area? My mom talked to her, says she is really nice. and get on that head of Blue Star moms, she/he needs to get in touch with you. If you have a problem with that, let me know, we'll ask the Blue Star MN chapter head know.

Butterfly Wife said...

I hope that this blog brings you some of the support you are looking for.

While it is my husband who is deployed, I came to this military life voluntarily. If I don't like it, I can choose to leave it. I have that choice. As a mother, you did not choose to be a military mother. Those were your children's choices and even though they are grown adults, their choices still have a huge (HUGE!) impact on you. (Perhaps this "choice" is a significant difference between milspouses and milparents.) These choices are impacting the way you are living your life everyday and your plans for your future.

It sounds like you are really trying to come to terms with your children's choices and the impact on your life. I honestly cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you even though you write about it very well. (I'm dense that way.)

I'll refer a couple of mothers over your way. Looks like you need all the support you can get. My heart goes out to you in this very difficult time. And I'll keep checking on you.

Some Soldier's Mom said...

no, my girl, they do not make meds for having children at war... but they should! you are always welcome at "my place"... or email me -- it's on my profile) This will be a long year for you -- and having TWO there? whew. We will keep your "boys" our thoughts and prayers. The rest of us military moms are all your sisters and we are here for you!

http://somesoldiersmom.blogspot.com/2005/11/thoughts-of-soldiers-mom-in-time-of.html

WIFE-N-MOM said...

I can honestly say I don't know what you are going through, but I do have a heartache related to being a mom and the army. Because of the circumstances I won't go into detail, but you can read my daughters blog at:
http://melissarae870.blogspot.com/
Army Mom X3, please know I will pray for your boys...And please know when I say I will pray for them- I WILL do it. Thank your boys for me for their service, and mom...thank YOU for your sacrifice.

Army Mom Times Three said...

To Wife and Mom:
I have read your daughter's blog from day one and can only imagine how hard it is for you to deal with her heartbreak. And I'm sure you loved Jim very much as well. Your daughter seems to be a very strong young lady with a deep faith in God. She's also a very talented writer.
For your prayers, my sons names are Kris and Austin. My daughter-in-law's name is Katie. She served two tours herself and is missing her husband very much now that it's his turn to go.
Thank you for your support of my family --- I will continue to support yours.

WIFE-N-MOM said...

Please know I will be praying for your kids by name.Yes, Mel is an amazing young woman- we are so proud of her. We also loved Jim very much. I did see you read her blog (one of your ealier postings) but didn't know if it would be appropriate to refer to it considering the topic of the current post. You're in my thoughts and prayers, too, mom!