Everything that I write is something I have felt or am feeling, is something I have lived through or that I have seen others live through. I write the life I know. The life I live. The life that I dearly love.
I write about the love between a mother and child, between fellow military spouses - the band of sisters, between dearest friends, sometimes moments of love between strangers ... I write about love between a husband and wife, a daddy and his sons, a soldier and his partner.
These are things I know.
In To Give a Child, I speak about the thought of giving a child to the nation. That is what I think a mother does when her son or daughter enlists. I wrote about the way the thought of that moves me. But that is all I can speak of it - about how I think it will be if one of my babies decides to follow in their daddy's footsteps. I have never had a child come to me and tell me they want to serve our country. I did not have to sign my name giving permission like C's mother did when he was only seventeen. I have never given a child. I don't know what that feels like.
I cannot tell you how I honored I am to introduce her to you. She has given a son. Below I would like to share a little of what she wrote about this love. Please take a moment to read it and to then pop over to her blog. Our community is not just the spouses - there are mothers and sisters and fathers and brothers. There are the mothers who have raised the soldier, the airmen, the sailors, the marines. There are the mothers who hold the ones who love them. Our community reaches beyond the lines of "spouse".
There are many ways to love a soldier.
Judy knows what it means to love an Airman - her son:
I never thought I would be the mother of a son who went to war - never in million years. Never.
And I am.
I shouldn’t be surprised. Both of my son’s grandfathers served during World War II. He grew up listening to their stories. When he joined the Air Force 10 years ago, I viewed it as an opportunity for him to receive unique training. In addition, he, his wife and their children have experienced wonderful adventures and made friends for life. But he’s still my little boy.
Deployment? I never wanted that for him, and told him so. He responded that not going would be much like being a doctor who had been trained to save lives, but only allowed to work on cadavers. He’s bright, he has skills. He’s needed. But he’s still my little boy.
My son and I have an extraordinary relationship. We make one another laugh. We challenge one another’s wits and beliefs. He is the evidence that all of our family’s traits and secrets will survive another generation. But he’s still my little boy.
I see him in uniform and I see him in the sandbox. I see him saluting and I see him waving from his tricycle. I see him standing next to a helicopter and I see him standing next to Santa. I hear his voice from many time zones away and I hear him saying his prayers, tucked safely in his bunk bed.
He’s a grown man, he’s a husband, he’s a father, he’s gone to war. But he’s still, and always will be, my little boy.
Please visit Judy's blog:
This is the first of a series "So Many Ways to Love." If you are a sister, a mother, a father, a brother, a best friend, a mother-in-law, a father-in-law, etc. I would love to hear from you. Please email toloveasoldier (at) gmail (dot) com.