My son and I share a problem this go around.  Neither of us is sleeping.  A nice 30 minute “chat” left us both bewildered on how to solve the problem.  When he left last time, I started experiencing serious sleep deprivation.  When I finally got some help for this from professionals, I would dream about my son several times per week.  In my dreams, I could hear him walking up the stairs with his duffle bag.  Thump, thump, thump.   Then turning the key in the door and saying “hey mooooooooooooooom”.  He sounds just like South Park’s Cartman when he does that.

In another dream he was sitting on the end of my bed telling me how he drove all night to get home.  I could smell him.  When I woke up, I sat up in bed and reached out to him to give him a hug.  He wasn’t there.

I would wake up in the hallway some nights reaching out to nothing and confusing my dogs in the process.  I’ve never been a dreamer in the literal sense.  But during that time, my son and I had some really great discussions.  A friend of mine stated that in some circles it would be considered time traveling.  She believed that my son was coming to me in my dreams because he was away and he knew I needed to see him, smell him, hug him, and that he probably needed me too.   I don’t know what it all meant, but I know that it was comforting to hear.

This time around the dreams are not sweet visits from my son. They are violent and involve images that I cannot shake even after my favorite cup of coffee is finished the next morning.  Planes falling out of the sky.  People hurting other people.  I don’t know the actors in my dreams.

The dreams have subsided a bit as this deployment ends its 2nd month.  No dreams at all this week that include violence.  Just images that don’t make much sense.  Wish I had taken that dream analysis class in college.

Pray for the families of the fallen this weekend.



45 Minutes of Bliss

What a difference a day makes.  45 minutes of chat time with number one son this morning at 0630.  After I posted last night, I found a 17 hour old message.

Lucky me this morning waking up to his chat.

He sounds tired.  Working more than usual.

Maybe a little homesick for Glen the deployment dog, the hyperactive pooch who pees on my floor when he visits.  What is it about military men who won’t snip their pooches?

Most of all, he sounded homesick for his very comfortable bed.

I wish I could make his life comfortable for him when he’s away.

I described all the goodies headed his way in his latest package from his adoring family.

Too many socks to count at this point.

He will be extending his “vaca”.  He never complains.  Only states that he needs to stay behind to help a bit longer.  That his work is meaningful and makes a difference.

I admit my weaknesses to him as a mom trying to make sense of why he’s away.  He accepts them, and by accepting them, makes me even prouder.  If that is even possible.

I couldn’t pray for anyone this evening but him.  Selfish I know.

I noticed my daughter’s e-mail to him referencing him as “bubby”.  Another proud moment for this military mom.  She loves him more than he will ever know.

She keeps his spirit right out in front of her girls at all times.  They are young, but have an incredible understanding for how important his service is to their future.

Military families give so much.  Say thanks to one of them today, even if you have to look one up on a blog, send a care package to someone you don’t know find one on a facebook page to do so.  If you are fortunate enough to live near a base, thank one in the grocery line or pick up the check next time you see a military family out to dinner.

It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

Peace, love and little donuts……………..


This morning as day six unfolded of hearing nothing from my son, I had a moment.  A few moments actually, that didn’t serve me.  Bad news coming across the newswires actually prompted me to look out of the window of my 3rd story walk up to see if there was a government car waiting outside.  Projecting myself into that scenario didn’t serve me.  What happened next was a phone call from my girlfriend, a mindfulness guru and then an e-mail, lovingly shared with me by another girlfriend to shake me awake and into the present moment.  The present moment, this is where I have the ability to regain some sense of control over my circumstances as a military mom.

She has given me permission to share this e-mail that her sweet, sweet mother sends each year to her children and grandchildren.

Sixty seven years ago today your dad/grandpa was the ripe old age of 19.  He was on a minelayer, destroyer at Iwo Jima in the south Pacific, with a crew of 300 men.  U.S.S. Lindsey. They were hit by 3 Kamikaze planes. They had been threatened by them many times but either shot them down or they missed.  Just as simple as that.  I remember him telling that one of the pilots survived and a young young Japanese man just like Len and scared to death.  They held him prisoner on the ship and not sure what ever happened.

 Len  was very lucky to be a survivor as one/third of the crew was lost or badly injured, and half the ship was destroyed. A son of one of the men who died that day keeps in touch with me.  From Abilene, KS. 

I know I have told this story before over and over, but just can’t help but think about it each year.

 Len would fly the flag at half mast for his shipmates and always stood at the bottom of the flag pole and looked up for a while. He was always sad that day.  At that tender age of 19, it was something he could not imagine. He had been in the navy two years by then.  At 17 he ran away from home and would not come back until his mother signed the papers for him to join the Navy.  She finally did and he left school to go.

WWII was a very patriotic war. Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, had been attack by the Japanese.  The young men and women wanted to serve their country in any way they could and many lost their lives because of it.

 He came home, finished his senior year in high school, and went to Morningside College in Sioux City, Ia. and graduated in three years with majors in Business and Religion.  It cost him $3.27 as he went under the G.I. Bill.  The government treated the soldiers of that era very well. All his close buddies from Sioux City got their degrees also and continued to be very close. One of them, it is his wife’s recipe for “Iowa Taverns”. So there.  🙂 

 O.K.  Enough sentimentalizing.  I love you all, just as he loved you all.  So so much.


Shaken back into the present moment by an e-mail that reminded me that I’m not alone in my journey, even though it feels that way some times.  My mother’s brothers all served their country during wartime.    And they lied about their age in order to do it. Jack, Carl, and Kenny Fletcher served proudly in Korea and Vietnam.  They sent their paychecks home so that my mother could be a cheerleader and have pretty dresses for dances.  Families were different then.  Children as young as 17 years old were enlisting in order to help support their parents during a rough economy.   My uncle Jack was a POW.  He was our family’s John Wayne. He owned a ranch in Cheyenne Wyoming.  He died at age 50 from chemical exposure during Vietnam that damaged his heart and lungs.  My grandmother cried like a baby at his funeral.  She was 80.

Somebody else’s children are deploying over and over and over again.  Somebody else was visited by a government vehicle today.  May they find peace in knowing that most Americans appreciate their sacrifice.  Thank you for your service Len Corkhill.  May you rest in peace. You raised a really great kid.

E-Mail + Nutella = happy militaryzenmom


Received first e-mail from deployed beloved boy this morning.  Sigh of relief.  This e-mail saved me from a weekend binge of whole grain bread from the oven with Nutella.  Nutella is the latest coping tool in my military Zen mom bag of mindfulness tricks.  Bake bread.  Smear on bread while warm. Eat slowly.  Repeat as Necessary.

“Mom, send sheets and a pillow that looks like this (picture of gel pillow), I’ll send you cash or check from bank”.   Appears that Amazon won’t send the kid sheets to an APO.   The guy who replaced him didn’t leave his sheets behind for him knowing he would back on next rotation.  Who does that?  And why won’t Amazon send his sheets to an APO?  Mom will investigate, then write a letter to Amazon stating why this is bull_ _ _ _.  Much like the letter I sent to the Mayor of San Francisco who wouldn’t allow the Marines to de-plane a few years ago after a deployment.  I haven’t visited San Fran since.  Remains on my list of places NOT to spend money.

The disconnect between American civilian families and military families is alive and well.  Other people’s children fighting wars in faraway places.  The cost of a volunteer military is that military families ARE NOW THE OTHER 1%.  Occupy this mother’s broken heart for a little while protesters.

Anger doesn’t serve me right now.  When the anger wells up, time to Zen up.  So, here’s how you can help:

Ways to Assist a Military Family:

http://www.hireheroesusa.org (Employment programs for returning veterans).

http://www.missisioncontinues.org (Links wounded veterans with public service).

http://www.phhnc.org (Purple Heart Homes. A program to build handicap-accessible homes for veterans).

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org (Provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life).

www.puppiesbehindbars.com (The subset program Dog Tags provides Psychological Service Dogs to military veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injuries and/or physical issues resulting from active duty in Iraq and/or Afghanistan free of charge; donations cover the $20,000.00 training cost).

Or you could just send a soldier, airman, marine or sailor a box of awesome stuff.

Prayers of healing for the families this week:


Peace, love and little donuts…….