My son recently left for Marine Bootcamp.
Through blurry eyes, I tried to focus on the stunning save the date cards that had just arrived in the mail. Our oldest daughter had a list of things to discuss. My heart and head were divided between belief and unbelief.
Honestly, the package and discussion were a refreshing break from an 180-mile trip, “an only in Texas” record hot first day of spring, a mountain of laundry… and the ache in my temples, back, and heart.
My head on the barrel like chest of what was the smallest of my babies, hardly 7 pounds, and a mere 20 inches, barely 19-years ago, I listened to his pounding heart, surprised it was racing so.
I whimpered a prayer, “You walk in the favor of the Lord.”
I heard the welcomed echo of the manbaby’s booming voice, “Yes mom, I know. I promise I won’t forget. I love you. I have to go.”
The 6’3”, 204 pounds of muscular, determined, shockingly handsome, delight squeezed me tightly… and turned hastily and left me in a sea of broken hearted moms, girlfriends, and loved ones, saying goodbye to their future Marines.
The pamphlet in my grip said not to make a scene – not to cry too much… or lose it completely – only making things harder for these brave young men and women.
Tonight in my car waiting for tween-babies to finish with ballet I cried with another manbaby – who will miss his friend and partner in crime. Later over Frappuccinos I cried with tweens… who still cannot believe this day has arrived.
Which brought me to this place, the bride-baby and I poured over the stunning save the dates and wedding ideas… silently hoping there will be leave time for a special guest to make a grand Military appearance.
Not quite out of tears, our three and five-year-old sons begged, why I was “still cwrying?” The older of the two slapped his forehead and said, “MOM! Stop cwrying ober John! We’s wight here to be lubbin on you!”
Save this date…
The one where time marched on as a boy marched into his future as a man.
This sunny, late afternoon when another boy still needed his mom and his mom still needed him as reassurance, we are still each other’s best bet.
This incident, when icy coffee treats to soothe raspy throats seemed more than necessary.
An hour, way past bedtime, when a “temp” daddy carried a sleepy foster-love to her crib after a lovely afternoon with her birthmother.
A common evening of tooth brushing, book reading, water drinking, prayers, and more water drinking, that might have been lost in the shuffle, if not for:
The comforting words of a five-year-old, who is certain he certainly is enough.
An old ford truck sitting in the barn, that certainly won’t start right up again after 3-long months.
An ugly little dog who is scratching at the back door, wondering where his boy went.
And a gorgeous pile of cardstock, gold embossed postcards begging me to… save this date.
I will count it among my best; resting comfortably in the arms of a Father who adores me, a God who knows this momma’s wounds. A Savior who is fully aware of my distresses, certain of exactly where and how my son is right now… at this moment, under the same sky, 1000 miles away; if not for the hurts of this day – would I recount all the joy?
If not for the rollercoaster of titles; mom, mommy, foster-mom… mother of the bride… military mom – would I be able to recall every moment of this day? Fresh out of tears, swollen eyes, stuffy nose, here on the sofa documenting a date that must be saved.
I revel in the happiness, the heartache, the drama, calories, fabric swatches, and postage – fully intent on saving… this date.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Romans 8:27-28 (NLT) “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
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