Here's an entry I started yesterday, and side-lined:
Brian sent me another round of pictures, yesterday. I hate for him to read this, but hey, I just got the thumb's up from him to "blog your heart out, Mom," so I'm going to tell you: Opening that pic of him, his clear skin and blue eyes, it crumbled me yesterday.
Maybe it was just my mood, or maybe it was just not seeing my son's face for 5 months, and knowing I'll have to wait 5 more. We talk on the phone, and send a few lines back and forth on email, and check in on one another's MySpace accounts. He's in my heart, as I mail one care package, tape up another box, and start filling it the same day, for the next week's mailing.
There are some days that I actually think, "this isn't so bad. Brian's doing pretty good. I'm doing pretty good."
But it's also true that a few times a week, I'll be driving along, or mindlessly pushing a cart through the grocery store, and I think, "Holy Mother of God! My kid is on the other side of the world!! He is serving in a WAR!" It hits me as if it is the first I've heard of it. My heart skips a beat, every single time...and all I can do is take a deep breath, and keep moving.
So, I keep moving, as do thousands of other parents and spouses and siblings and friends. Chin up, move forward, rah rah rah...there's my kid's face in an email oh my god, he's beautiful oh my god I miss him.
That's it, I started crying and decided not to post.
Champaign has lost another.
It has not yet been announced. Jeff called me this morning: A Champaign Police Officer's son was killed in Iraq.
He just wanted me to hear it, before. Before. Before I heard it on the news. He told me, and I lost the wind in my body. God. Okay. Okay. God. Okay. He just wanted me to know. Ok. Thanks. Thanks for calling.
Brian's father is a Champaign Police officer. It is one of his "Brothers in Blue" that just lost a son, today.
And I got the call. And I put on my coat, and left my office. I ran to Di's house. My friend for 26 years, who, last time she heard I cried alone, said "Dammit, next time you call me!" I did it. I called her. She wasn't home, but baby, she turned her car around, and she was waiting in her kitchen when I got there, with open arms and a box of kleenex. She let me cry until I could cry no more. Then, she fixed me coffee.
And once again, a soldier dies, and I go back to work.