Thursday, August 8, 2013

two years

"Time is the longest distance between two places."
  ~Tennessee Williams

Two years ago today our son raised his right hand 
for his final swearing-in, boarded a bus, boarded a plane 
and made his way to Great Lakes, Illinois.
 When we saw him, 2 months later at Navy boot-camp
graduation, he was a sailor.  
  Today he is a 3rd class Petty Officer. 
He has spent most of the past two years in one of the most
 challenging academic programs in the US military. 
In May he completed his studies and is a 
Nuclear Machinist Mate. 
He is stationed in San Diego and serves on
the USS Carl Vinson~ a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

 I think of that bright summer morning in Dallas two years ago. 
I think of that boy who clutched his first set orders
and boarded that bus to his future.

I can tell you this, from a mother's heart, 
it was a beautiful, proud, terrible day. 
It was the first good-bye, the first knowing 
of this new life~ this unique letting-go~ 
this giving-over ~ this first step
on this new, uncharted path.

Some will tell you it gets easier,
 but that is not the word I would use.

I shattered my kneecap some years ago.
It actually hurts constantly. Mostly I ignore it. 
I am accustomed to it. I distract myself. 
Sometimes I take something to quell the pain.
But it is there always, a dull ache usually, 
but some days it is sharp flame.

And this is the way I miss my son. 
It is not easier, but I am used to it.
I stay busy and grateful~ 
always I find comfort and joy in being grateful. 
Time passes. Life goes on. 
Two years passes in a heartbeat.
"Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new... 
but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, 
its mystery and its design?"

Thursday, July 4, 2013

sweet freedom

Today I am thankful for those that serve and have served!
Our country is free and strong because of you! 
And I send a special thank you and much love
to San Diego and a certain sailor
that is missed today...
and every day.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

all good things...

 It's true... all good things must come to an end, and our sailor's wonderful, long leave did just that~
it ended.

So this heap of belongings ...
 was sorted and packed...
 and became this.
 And it was time for the last hug. 
This, my friends, does NOT become easier. 
That is myth and a not very nice one either. 
It diminishes the reality of these good-byes.
They are hard.
And, for me, saying "See you later" in place of "Good-bye" 
makes no difference. My heart knows the truth.
But I was brave! It is NOT easier, but I HAVE gotten 
better at it. :)

Father and son set off for sunny southern Cal~
San Diego, to be exact. It was a road trip to remember. 

Back at home... I was grateful for having had 
such a marvelous visit with my son.

But, I was a little sad. The house was too quiet.
The dog... well, he was sad, too. 

Soon sailor and dad arrived in San Diego. 
After a short visit, the hubs flew home 
and our sailor reported to his ship, the USS Carl Vinson.
After almost 2 years, our sailor was ON A BOAT!  ;) 
Okay, well, maybe it's not exactly like that...
but more like these photos that he took on his first underway. 

 So, this post is not really about endings. 
It is about a beginning, a new adventure for my sailor.

 And I have memories of all my kids together,
happy, healthy and having fun!
I am so very thankful.
All good things... yes, I really do have all good things.♥ 
 Blessed beyond measure.
So the journey continues...

Saturday, May 25, 2013


The face you see above is the face of a Qualified Nuclear Operator 
in the United States Navy!!!! 
Sign, sealed and delivered, he is done and home on leave! 
We did not attend Prototype graduation since 
our sailor left immediately after to drive from upstate N.Y. 
home to the Dallas suburbs. I will not even comment on 
how quickly he got here...
He actually arrived a day before he was expected, so my 
welcome home decor was not as fancy as I'd planned,
but the main thing, the ONLY thing that matters is 
He survived! 
I survived! 
 And he is home and doing all the things he loves to do.
Messing with cars...
Helping with the yard.
 Helping out at the church fund-raiser with his dad and brother.
Shooting hoops.
Meeting our new pup and just hanging out.
My heart is so happy and grateful.
It is like old times...
a brief reprieve before we give him back to the Navy. 
He leaves in a few weeks to joing his ship.
He got the number one pick on his "dream-sheet" and will be 
serving on the USS Carl Vinson out of San Diego. 
We are so happy, because it is a beautiful place and the 
closest homeport he could have gotten assigned to
while serving on a nuclear aircraft carrier.
Next I will learn to be the mom of a sailor in the fleet, a deployed sailor.
The Navy never stops teaching me new things. 
I am so very proud of my sailor! 
He has worked so hard and achieved so much! 
And now~ I'm a Nuke mom! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

the journey continues

This is a long overdue update. 
After Power School graduation things
 got super busy in my life. 
I sell my handmade jewelry at shows and fairs
and fall is, naturally, the busiest time.

My sailor was busy himself, with Grad Hold in
Goose Creek. He had a good
job off base for his 2 month hold time.
I got very used to talking and texting 
with him very often. Gone was the worry
and stress of school. His schedule
was predictable and relatively easy. I slept at night
 with a peaceful heart, knowing 
he had a break from the rigors of nuke school. 

In late October I got the best surprise of my life!
My sailor came walking in our back door!!!
I felt like I was dreaming! He was home for week!
Everyone (and I do mean everyone) 
except me knew he was coming,
but it was a complete and total surprise to me!
I did not want to let him go!!!
But of course our week flew by and it was time to say good-bye.
Our sailor was headed to his next level of training
in Ballston Spa, NY, somewhere near the Arctic Circle. ;)
Ok, not that far north, but far enough.

So, now he is in his last phase of nuclear training~ Prototype.
The hours are long, but this is the homestretch.
After the successful completion of Prototype,
sailors are assigned to a ship or sub. 
My sailor is "surface"~ he will be on a nuclear carrier.
He still has hurdles to leap and several months to go.

My Texas boy has learned how to drive in the snow.
He is learning the hands-on part of his job.
He has learned to cook in a crock pot.
And I have learned how to treasure every text, every phone call, 
every (rare) time I see that he has been on FaceBook.
I have learned to live with a piece of my heart
always far away. I know the weather where he is, 
the Google maps view of the road where his little 
rental house sits hidden by the trees. 

I have learned to keep to myself how much I miss him. 
 I have learned that pride and love and longing 
can co-exist in a mother's heart.
I have learned to be a Navy mom.
On the flight deck of the USS Yorktown