Part 2 – a National Guard Mom
Now that the election fever is over – let’s get back to the business of Parents Zone – stories of Parents of Serving Military. My friend and support during the last deployment sent me Part 2.
Ok where was I…
He had joined shortly after 9/11 and most of his friends had done at least one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan but we thought he had been spared while he was “training”, we were so wrong. His group was up and he was going for ? months to the “litter box” as we came to call it, Iraq as others call it – either way our son, my baby, was headed into the most dangerous area of the world and right into the middle of the war.
My heart stopped, my knees went weak, my stomach turned, I could not control the shaking and I fought to keep from falling completely apart. I could not let him or his family see the devastation I was feeling, I held it in I could not let my baby, his wife or their baby down, but what could I do? I had no idea how things worked, who or where to turn to when I had a question. How could we send him off to who knows where for an extended time and not have a way to know what is going on.
My daughter-in-law had just signed up for a very intense medical program that was going to last at least two years; my grandson was just barely one year old. She would be alone trying to raise a baby, go to school, and hold her very young family together without him here. So again we had the conversation with him:
“Oh no your are not”
“Oh yes I am”
“Oh no, you are not”
“Oh YES I am”
“You are not! You tell them you are grounded and I will give you a note telling them you made a mistake and your Mother says you can’t deploy”! Well you know how that ended, again.
Both of our sons were grown and other than some ongoing health issues Nick’s older brother has his Dad and I were on our own. After Nick and his family had left us with the devastating news and I had gotten over the tears and denial I stopped and took a step back. I thought about the way we had raised all the children in our home. What had we tried to show them and teach them about taking care of themselves and each other? What would I do if it were one of them …oh wait a minute it was them as well. Of the group that signed together all were heading out in the next few months. Well that was that, I had to step up and be the Mom.
I got busy, we made arrangements to move into a bigger house and move our daughter-in-law and grandson in with us. This would give our son a few weeks with them without any worries before he left. Also we were giving him the peace of mind knowing that she and the baby would not want or need for anything while he was away. Oh so very, very far away.
Now I have to stop for a moment and tell you all (most will understand right away) this was the most horrible time in my life, and to relive it is opening wounds I thought were long closed, but my hope is that others will learn and perhaps find comfort in my words and recounting.