The Friday entries of "The Powder Room" are currently from a journal which I started when we found out our son was going to be deployed with the United States Marine Corps 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. The entries are shared 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.
Day 266, February 27, 2005
Well, Christmas came and went.
We began our morning in prayer for Noah. We had packages to open from Noah, with Marie's help. At dinner we looked at pictures of Noah that I had placed on the table. I think he was more a part of our day than if he had been here with us!
After Christmas I was so disappointed in myself for only taking a minute or two of video - knowing full well that he wanted to see some of our Christmas morning. But somehow the camera got lost in all the trappings of the celebration of Christmas. Little did I know that the camera actually was still running!
When I looked at the video weeks later, I was shocked that even though we only had three or four good minutes of video, we had over twenty minutes of audio of us (along with twenty minutes of video of the side of the blue living room chair).
Emily and I had a good time adding amusing sub-titles to the video. We were full of anticipation for how Noah would respond to our jokes. As for us, the video was so much more about Noah than if we had done it the other way.
Then after Christmas we began to really anticipate Noah's return. To our great pleasure the date was much earlier than we had originally thought. All of a sudden what had seemed so far away, was actually so close.
I began to be overwhelmed with what I had not done. His Christmas presents were not yet wrapped, his quilt was not - and would not soon be - finished. His room was basically a storage unit, it was not ready to be a bedroom again.
Then, beside all the practical things I knew had to be tackled in such a short time, I began to think of all the emotional things. Would we be for Noah what he will need us to be? Will we make his homecoming what he wants it to be? Will we know when to be silent, when to speak, when to laugh, when to cry? Will it be more awkward than I have imagined, or will it be easier? Will things go smoothly between Noah & Aimee?
As I feel apprehension regarding Noah's homecoming, I realize it is because I have absolutely nothing in my past upon which to base this experience. His return from boot camp seems such a pale comparison. The Noah who came home from Parris Island was in so many ways different from the Noah who left.
Maybe that is what I dread.
I fear Noah may have crawled even deeper into a shell from which he can't be extracted. It is a hard thing for a mother to lose her little boy to the man he must inevitably become. It is harder still to lose him to such a strong knit band of brothers as the Marine Corps. I wonder what it is like to lose him to the smoky memories of war? Can the little boy smile ever escape past the memories of killing and death?
As anxious as I am to wrap these mother's ars around my son, I am curious as to the Noah that I will meet that day.