There is much to write about, much that has been hidden deep in a mother's heart. I can't write about when our son left for college, because straight out of high school he didn't leave for college. Instead he decided to serve his country and join the military. He decided to become a Marine, not only a Marine, a Recon Marine. Not only a Recon Marine, a Force Recon Marine.
In deciding to begin this posting, I have turned to a journal I wrote in when our son was deployed to Iraq. The journal was not written with the intention that it would ever be read by anyone else, much less published in any way. There are feelings in the journal that are deep and true and I wasn't sure at first I wanted to share them. But there are many sons and daughters still serving in our armed forces and I think it might be good to share "a mother's heart" with you what those other mothers may be facing.
Once a week, on Fridays, I will share an entry from this journal, as a tribute to my son and his service to our country, and to all those sons and daughters who continue to willingly place themselves in harm's way for the protection and preservation of liberty.
Here is an entry from June 6, 2004, the day before our son was about to leave for preparation before deployment:
Yesterday was a hard day. We went to the Deployment Ceremony and the Family Day at the Marine Corps unit. Some of the information made me feel much better, but still the whole day centered around one fact -- our Marines are leaving.
I find moments of sadness creep in and overcome me when I least expect it. I find myself dry-eyed when I thought I would be crying and crying when there seems to be no stimulus for the tears. So, yesterday was a hard day.
And today is a hard day. Watching Noah and Aimee sorting through his belongings, trying to decide what stays, what goes. I try not to think too much of how this separation will hurt them both. It is almost as if I can't add their pain to my own, but it is there all the same.
Image by lakerae via Flickryellow bow. Seeing the tears in Glen's eyes as we put up the ribbon brought even more to mine. But on this day of all days -- the anniversary of D-Day, I cannot selfishly wish for my son to not walk in the steps of the brave men before him -- nor would he choose another path if offered. There must always be those who willingly accept the sacrifices of military life to secure liberty for others. If only one Iraqi can openly speak his - or better yet, her - opinion without fear of torture or murder, then it has been worth the cost, worth the hard days, the missing of the smile and the laughter.
And yet, tomorrow will be a hard day too. In some ways, the hardest yet. For tomorrow we say goodbye for a while. I will remind myself that I am not the first nor the only mother to send a child to war. I will remind myself that for a few weeks he will remain safe on the shores that sing of liberty and freedom. I will remind myself that there is yet a hope to see him in July before he leaves. But most of all I will remind myself that the Lord is his safety, his protection. And there is some lesson that the Lord can only teach Noah on the dusty, barren slopes of Iraqi soil. May he learn those lessons well and quickly!
Today though, I wish I had a time machine, not to go to the future, but to go to the past. I would
Image via Wikipedialike to tell the mothers of those brave young men of D-Day how their sons were given Legion of Honor medals from the French President today. I would love to tell them how the world holds them responsible for peace in Europe. Most of all, I would want to thank them for their pain and sacrifice -- there are no medals of honor for mothers.
May the world hail the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of today in as much honor and esteem sixty years from today.