I walk slowly, even though it's late, I dread walking in. I don't know why, I just know that I do.
I see the mail and a letter sticks out USARB, I already know what it stands for. Ask me a few weeks ago and I would have Google the acronym.
I take the letter upstairs, I sit and stare at it. Not wanting to open it, knowing I had to open it.
The kaleidoscope of the past few weeks goes before my eyes. So many thoughts pass quickly. Always at times like this I look left, I look right and there is no one, why is that when I need a hug the most?. Today....tonight....I am used to it and have realized I now appreciate it.
I open the letter and the reality of the officialism of my son now in the army hits me. Wave upon wave of sobs. I barely get to the second paragraph when I have to put it down and just cry it out.
My only child. Just when I thought we could bond he makes a decision that separates us further. I have always said that the boy I tracked and found when he ran away those years ago was a different boy. I never really found the son I knew. The years have not lessened that pain. This letter just made it worse.
If at any time in my life I felt alone, truly I was wrong for tonight I know what alone is. I know the core of it.
'As a proud parent of a Future Soldier'. I am a proud parent....of my son. 'You are now a part of an exceptional team. That part angered me. What team? There wasn't a team that I saw or heard from.
'if your son ships to training quickly'....if?????
I was thanked for my commitment and support to my country. Perhaps one day I will understand that. As a parent it seems so impersonal, after all they are getting my son and doing what they wish with him.
I am a proud American; always have been. I can't see myself living anywhere (unless Palin was made President). I just can't seem to embrace this. I just can't, I hope I do, but I can't. I am torn between the pride of a mother for a son that has finally made a decision on his life, however was this decision his?
I'm glad it says Army Strong, because right now I am anything but. Right now I wish I had not come home and seen the mail. Reality no matter how you prepare, still has a way of surprising you. Reality strong is more like it.
I don't feel strong enough to breathe let alone accept this or pretty much anything else right now. I do accept one thing... I'm not looking left or right anymore, I look up. Grant me the strength to get through this. To stop crying at the sound or vision of the word Army.
Grant me to be Parent Strong.