Monday, September 10, 2012

Three Years Later

Three years ago tonight, in fact right now at 9:35 pm 3 years ago, I was having a conversation with my son who was just hours away from Deployment to Afghanistan. 9-11-09

I recall the evening as if it were today.
Jon had told us he would call us at 9:00 pm and that they would not be taking their phones with them so he was not sure as to when he would get to call us again so we scheduled the time.
My phone rang and we talked on speaker phone for what seemed like seconds but it was more like a half hour.
As I could feel the conversation coming to an end I looked at my phone and realized at some point soon I was going to have to press END CALL.
I did not want to do that. I did not want to say good-bye. I did not want to let go!

When the call ended, I walked out on my deck in the cool of the evening only to find the breeze did not cool me. I sat on the stairs of my deck, my head heavy in my hands and I cried.
I cried from some place deep within me. The deepest part of a Mom's heart. Its called the WHAT IF place.
What if I never got to talk to him again?
What if the words that I said were the last ones he would hear, did they matter?
What if when I hugged him 3 months prior, that was the last hug?
What if??
Tears flowed like the falls over the rocks. I had never felt this desperation. Grabbing on to the edge of the stairs I found myself unable to breath. Realizing I had completely lost it, my husband shook me by the shoulders and said strongly, "stop it! Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!!"

It seemed so rough and cruel but it snapped me out of my hyperventilating.
Calming down was not in the cards though. Not for 7 long months and many shoulder shaking moments to follow. Some from Kevin some from my best friend Laura! Who sat with me one day while I was in heap on my floor crying because I had stupidly watched the news, only to hear 16 men had been killed in Afghanistan.

It was bad enough that he was deploying, but on 9-11??? Seriously?? It seemed so cruel.

Tonight as I look at the impact that deployment had on our family I am fully aware that it was all part of God's plan.  Turning our hearts toward Him!
Some people have said to me, "wow that went really fast." My reply has always been, "For who?" When you are living it, it is not fast!
Jon returned home safe and sound to a street full of flag waving people who appreciate his service.
But most importantly, JON RETURNED!
Our family was drawn closer together through his distance. We learned to pray like we have never prayed before.
We see Military Mom/Dad bumper stickers and pray immediately for the Mom/Dad in that car as well as the service member no matter where he/she is.
Life changes when you have skin in the game as we did. So we understand what other parents are going through.

Three years ago tonight I couldn't breath because my son was leaving for Afghanistan.
Tonight as I write this my son called me just to talk. I am breathing easier these days!

Hearing his voice tonight was the icing on the cake for me. Even though I know he is home with his wife, safe and sound just a few miles away from me. I am grateful every time I hear him.
 Every time he sits at  my kitchen table.
Every time I see his face.
I beam with pride when I see men and women in their uniforms because I know their sacrifice.
 I have experienced it.
I thank God for our amazing son and the thousands just like him. So willing to give of their time and even their lives,  for this great country.

Mom's with sons and daughters and husbands currently serving. Know that my heart is with you. I pray for you everyday!
May God make his face to shine upon them all, this day and forever more!