Yesterday in Kandahar, 14 Afghan civilians lost their lives to roadside bombs. Six Americans, someone else’s kids, lost their lives in a separate incident. They lost their lives while I spent the morning enjoying the company of friends new and old in celebration of the official opening of my office. While I drank lemonade and ate croissants and enjoyed hugs and laughter, 6 other mothers were visited by a government chaplain.
Sadness quickly overshadowed the evening and I knew that it was time to start blogging again. I’ve spent the last 3 weeks taking a break from militaryzenmom. I suppose I was in denial of the war’s ongoing carnage, because my child is enjoying hot showers again in his home in the states. In a few short weeks he’ll head back again, but for now, I am enjoying the luxury of knowing he is safe from rockets, road side bombs and soldiers who are supposed to be “on our side” shooting to kill.
When I put my hands on my son this time, his shoulders felt broader and his spirit felt heavy. When I hold him I don’t want to let him go. I want to hold onto these moments as they are precious. He is precious. He talked of physical pain, something he rarely complains about. I know it is present in his body from injuries, from flying too many hours from the stress that our body holds inside when we experience traumatic events. I want to take him to a specialist to get him checked out because his medical care is by my standards, substandard. I want to do so many things to care for him.
I hold his latest medal in my hands and read the letter carefully as it artfully describes what he did to be granted something so beautiful. I want to keep it. I want to bring it home, to put it under my pillow, to show it to the man at the bank that helps me with my accounts and ALWAYS thanks me for my son’s service, every time. I want to take it to the high school that he attended and show it to his guidance counselor that never supported his decision to join the military so that she can grasp the magnitude of what these kids are doing over there.
In spite of the pride I feel when holding the medal, I fight the urge to ask him to leave the work that he loves. The work that in my opinion, made him a better man. We are in that odd time of making the big decision. Stay or go. In a few short months he will sign on the dotted line officially………………. to stay or go. I give him room to make the choice that is right for him, in this time and space that is his life, but my heart says “go, please go”. Find a wife, go back to school, re-enter the civilian world, I’ll help you transition back, just GO”. I want to scream out, “you’ve done your part, you’ve made us proud, now just GO”. My words stay in my head; I stay silent and pray the choice he makes will be the right choice for him. I write every reporter I see on Linked In and beg them to talk to me about this work that other people’s children are doing, to hear me, to hear the other mothers and fathers who need to say out loud how proud they are of their kids. I ZEN UP and start talking loud. I ZEN UP and write Michelle Obama AND Jill Biden and ask them to read my blog.
May the Americans who died this week be blessed for their ultimate sacrifice, and their families find the memory of them to be a blessing.
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