Friday, January 27, 2006

Where am I going?

Walking into the office building this morning, I came across a man and a woman standing in front of the list of occupants, looking rather puzzled. I waited for the elevator, watching them out of the corner of my eye. As I was getting onto the elevator, I paused in the doorway and turned back to them and asked if I could help them find the office they were looking for. They looked at each other with a look of relief and said they were looking for a particular doctor. I told them that they needed the building next door and the look in their eyes as the woman said “I told you we were in the wrong building” to the man was priceless. They smiled and thanked me and I stepped into the elevator and pushed the button for my floor. I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle as I rode up to my floor...but it also made me think. Is that the way I look these days? Like I’m lost in a fog? Like I have no idea where I'm going or what’s going to happen next? When will life get back to normal again, or will it ever? These thoughts made me frown and wonder...but then, they made me smile.

My life has changed so much in the last few years...but I honestly wouldn’t want to go back to where I was before. I’ve grown so much since then, but I’ve shrunk too...figure that one out... :) I watched my family spread out across the world to where I now have no sons at home and two of them are on opposite ends of the earth...miss all three of you guys. My husband and I have grown closer than you, baby. We had the house to ourselves for a couple of months after 20 something years and then it filled up again, with a daughter this time...something I never expected but am enjoying to no end...glad you’re here, Katie. I made some great new friends, and one has turned out to be a Godsend for me, even though he doesn’t see it or understand you, Casanova.

So, I guess it’s not all that bad not knowing where I’m going or what’s going to happen next, as long as I have my family and friends. Every time I’ve felt lost, someone has been there to help me find the you, Dad. With every dark cloud, there has been a silver lining...thanks, Gabe. With every stumble along the way, there’s been someone there to pick me up...sisters are the best. With every prayer I’ve been unable to utter due to an inability to focus lately, there has been someone praying on my you, Andy and Sondra. I feel so genuinely loved and cared about and rich beyond all earthly means......may God bless all of you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

We want you to know.....

Back in 1999, when my nephew's girlfriend was only 15 years old, she wrote a poem for her uncle who was about to deploy to Kosovo. She'd misplaced it over the years of moving with her family, but found it again last night when she was going through some of her things. She immediately thought of she sent it to me tonight. I read through it with tears in my eyes and immediately called her to ask permission to post it here. I hope you like it as much as I do.

For all of the sons and daughters
For all of the mothers and fathers
For all of the brothers and sisters
Who are far away
We know that we will see your shining faces again some day.

For all of the prayers and wishes
For all of the missed hugs and kisses
For all of the sleepless nights and tears that we have cried
We want you to know that
In our hearts, you'll never die.

For all of the pain that you will go through
For all of the good that you will do
For all of the fighting people who know you
We want you to know that
We will always love you.

For all of the things that you'll fear
For all of your falling tears
For all of the days that will seem like years
We want you to know that
When you come back, we will still be here.

by Robyn Sewell

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Life as usual???

I’ve read it so many times in the blogs of those who are deployed...they say, "Life goes on as usual back home while we’re over here.” Well, maybe life goes on as usual for those who don’t have someone in their family deployed, but life sure doesn’t go on as usual for those of us who have someone over there.

I sometimes feel like I’m just going through the motions every day. I go to work, eat lunch in the usual places, make the drive home listening to my favorite radio station, go through the mail when I get home and pay the bills (ugh), talk to Ken about stuff, figure out what’s for dinner, watch our favorite TV shows, play volleyball once a week, do the shopping, talk to friends, and so on and so on and so on. I guess that’s life as usual, but......

While at work, I try to concentrate on what I need to do each day, but I’m constantly monitoring the IM to see if Seth or any of his buddies get on. I find that I fall behind easily these days and have to play catch up because of my lack of focus. The drive home has become a challenge because sometimes a song comes on that makes me think about Seth and I get all teary-eyed and want to pull over and just let it all go......but I don’t. When I get home, I immediately boot up the IM and cringe whenever I have to leave the house to go somewhere because I’ll be away from the lifeline to Seth. We still do our usual Mexicali’s night – meet Rick at our favorite Mexican food place once a week – but we leave later than usual in case Seth gets on the IM. Even watching TV has changed. I don’t think I’ve watched an entire show since he left. I can’t stay off the computer that long. you detect a pattern here??

But, then......there are nights like last night. Seth got on the IM about 2230. I called the other boys to tell them he was on and we set up a conference with Kevin in Alaska and Rick at his place. I laughed so hard at the boys as they called each other names and sent goofy smiley faces back and forth. It was absolutely fantastic!!! God knows I live for days like that...... :) does NOT go on as usual back least not for some of us.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Leaving civilization

Ken and I are headed to the country this afternoon to spend the weekend. Ken's mom has this 50-acre place about an hour out of town that takes us away from the big-city life in a most refreshing way. While we're there, we escape from the norm. We feed the cattle, mend fences, repair the barn, work on the equipment, chop mesquite trees, burn brush piles (except now there's a burn ban all over Texas), and we truly love every minute of it.....but, it also takes us away from the computer. It's hard!!! It's sooooo hard!!!! Hard to leave behind the IM where we can talk to Seth and sometimes see his face, hard to be out of the loop, and oh so hard not to constantly wonder where he is and what he's doing. I knew it would have to happen sooner or later, that I'd have to get on with life, but I've put it off for several weeks. I know it will be good for all of us, but that doesn't make it any easier. I'll still be thinking about him and praying for him, though......and for his matter where I am.

By the way, see the flagpole in the front yard? The three boys gave that to their grandmother for Christmas three years ago and planted it in the ground Christmas day. That was the last time all three boys were home together for Christmas.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Broken silence

We finally heard from Seth this weekend, after about two and a half days of silence. It was, indeed, a blackout...that roadside bomb on Thursday killed some soldiers from his FOB. My heart aches so much for those soldiers and their families. They have been constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Yeay, he got the laptop, but was fussing at us because we didn't pack the power did that happen?? I think everything but the kitchen sink was in that camera, x-box games and controllers, pictures, all kinds of stuff. I can't imagine how the cord got left out and don't know where it is...must be in Katie's room somewhere. Luckily, someone else had an extra cord for him to use until we can get his to him. Oh well, we were going to send another package this week anyway...... :)

Friday, January 06, 2006


I think we're having our first communications blackout...only a month into his deployment. I've heard others talk about them, and know what to expect, but......yeah, it's tough. We haven't heard from him in two days. The hardest thing for me is not knowing. I heard about the incidents on Thursday...the roadside bombs that killed some soldiers in Baghdad...but I don't know who...and not hearing from him is gut-wrenching. I understand why they stop all communications, but it doesn't make it any easier for those of us who are waiting to hear something.

I admit it, we've been spoiled. We've been able to talk to either Seth or one of his buddies on the IM every day since he arrived in Iraq. My dad is still in awe of that. We don't talk for very long, maybe 20 or 30 minutes, but it's long enough to know that he's okay, and that's all that matters. Katie was literally bouncing after the last time...go figure. But, there's something heartwarming about having one of his friends tell me, "Seth's doing fine"...and then later, end the conversation with, "take care, Mrs. ------." Imagine that, a soldier deployed in a war zone telling me to take care. Yeah, that's the kind of brothers he's with right now. God, I love 'em all!!!

But in this case, as crazy as it makes me not to hear anything, I guess no news is good news.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Christmas in Iraq

We got a thumbs up from Seth today. His first packages arrived it was Christmas in Iraq today. I sent him his Christmas stocking filled to overflowing with goodies and presents....yeah, okay, I'm a diehard mom who sends the boys their stockings no matter how old they get and no matter where they shoot me. Kevin's stocking has traveled to Alaska three times now and then returned empty the next summer when he came home on leave. Seth's stocking went to Korea a couple years ago and came home with him after his one-year tour was over. Now, it's in Iraq and will come home for refilling before next Christmas, or even better, come home with Seth before next Christmas....I hope, I hope, I hope. Maybe I should start adding things to the stockings to represent where they've been....they could be real collectors items some day....well, at least they will be for our family.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The roller coaster ride begins...

I heard about it last night, a U.S. Soldier in Baghdad was killed by an IED on Friday. No, Seth didn't know him, he was in a different unit and a different brigade, but my heart aches so much for that soldier and his family. He was someone's Seth...someone's son, possibly a brother, maybe someone's husband or sweetheart, or a father. My heart breaks every time I hear about another soldier being killed, and this was really close to my baby boy. I've tried to put the thought of what could happen to Seth out of my mind, and it works most of the time, but this brought it back to the forefront.

And the roller coaster ride earnest......