Friday, June 26, 2009

Trips, Airports and Troops.....

We took our 15 yr old daughter to the airport today. This is the first time she has flown and the first time she has been away from home for more than overnight. HUGE step for her.. and me. She's going to have a grand time with her Uncles in San Fransisco. I'm glad we could give her this trip. I'm proud of her for being independent and courageous enough to fly across country on her own. Sounds simple enough but it can be pretty scary the first time for a young person. She's growing up.. before I know it she'll be off to college and on her own. I worry about her and her brothers as much as I did Pokey in Iraq. Some people think it is strange because he was being shot at and had people trying to blwo him up but no where in the world is safe. And I worry no less about the 3 I have here at home than I did him. it's a different kind of worry maybe....

Being at the airport putting my child on a plane was hard. Not only is the airport we took Pokey to when he was shipping off to Ft. Campbell for the first time but there was a ever growing crowd of Air Force personnel waiting to welcome home a unit from Iraq. Family members joined them. I shook a few hands and thanked the group. I never mentioned my son. Only said I was an Army mom. I refused to put a cloud over their joyous moment. I spoke to a grandmother who was caring for her 16 month old grand daughter. The little girl was so beautiful and happy. She gave me smiles and hi-fives. She had not been held by her mother in 10 months. I wondered if she would recognize her mom. And I had to stop myself one more time and remind myself of the sacrifices those who serve make. We too often forget that those who are deployed miss out on things like first steps of a child and how huge a sacrifice that is. I simply wanted to hug each one of these men and women and tell them thank you personally... but at the same time I did not want to infringe on their moments with their families. So I stood back and watched after I told the group waiting to please tell them all thank you from an Army mom...

It seems really simple but it does mean something to tell these men and women thank you. And it reminds us when we do thank them of all we are thanking them for and all they missed and gave up to do the jobs they do..

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Farrah Fawcett lost her battle with cancer today. Michael Jackson also lost his life. My heart goes out to the families of these two celebrities. It truly does. But as I sit here watching the non-stop coverage of their deaths I have to wonder how many people who have their facebook, myspace and twitter status set to RIP to these two people can name just one Fallen soldier who fought to insure their freedom to have the careers they had. Or for that matter one living soldier.

As I allowed myself to be drug into a debate on how great Michael Jackson was for "changing music forever" and how he did so much to "feed the hungry" I question how society can not see all our troops do to change the world and free people who are hungry to find a means to feed themselves. As a society we truly look to the wrong people as role models. we look to be entertained and forget about the realities of life. The reality that there is truly evil in our world. Maybe that is why we put so much emphasis and time into celebrities. because they help us hide from reality. I know that people during the depression would say they went to movies to get away from the reality of their own lives. But we have become so emersed in being entertained and hiding from reality that entertainers have become our heroes. And I don't see it changing until we are so far gone and lost so much freedom that we are forced to face reality and look at those who battle to keep us safe and free as the heroes they are. the truly scary thing is how close we are to that point. Not the seeing our military as heroes but things being so bad we can not ignore them and hide from them anymore through entertainment. We can't hide from reality... No matter how much music we play, How may movies or TV shows we watch. No matter how many celebrities we swoom over... reality is still there and at some point we must face it fully and deal with it. No matter how painful or scary it is.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chili Mac

The last conversation I had online with Pokey was mostly about his R&R. He was due to come home for 2 weeks in May. One of the other guys had just gotten back and Pokey was worried we were going to have some huge party for him. He didn't want anyone to know when he was coming home. Wanted to decompress for a couple of days with just the family. I had no problem with the idea of not sharing him with the world for a few days. One of the things he asked was for me to cook chili mac. Now chili mac is poor mans food. macaroni noodles with chili dumped in and stir. Of all the things I have ever cooked I was amused he wanted chili mac. But he asked for it so I was gonna make it. Well I have not been able to cook chili mac since he was killed. I still can't. it's a stupid thing but I had planned to make it for him and knowing he won't be here to eat it is just too hard for me. It's weird the little things that get to me. Like cooking the meal he asked for.

There are other little things that I avoid. It seems silly when I look at it but maybe it's normal. I am not sure I know what normal is anymore though. I just know its not what it once was. There are movies I can't watch. And others I can't watch enough. I won't eat peach jelly beans. They were his favorite. I bought a case of peach soda once and was out the store before I realized I couldn't mail them to him. I sat in my car and cried. The big reminders, the obvious one are easier. It's the little ones.. like chili mac and peach jelly beans that are so much harder. You don't prepare for the little things.

Tonight my other children requested Chili mac for dinner tomorrow. I don't want to tell them why I don't want to make it. I don't want to open the wounds they have too. So I have encouraged my daughter to help out tomorrow and cook dinner. They will have chili mac. But it will be awhile longer before I can make it for them.