Saturday, October 30, 2010

Being a Marine Mom

Early this morning (3 am) the phone rings and I ran to get it because I knew of only one person who would be calling me at that ungodly hour. My son, who is a Marine, was calling from Afghanistan. He just graduated from boot-camp in June and is already in country. He was calling to let me know that he finally made it after a very long journey compiled of some long plane trips, a boat ride, and another long plane ride. He said that he is still in shock over the jet lag and the culture shock of being there. He knew what it would be like from talking with my friends and his recruiter, who had become a close friend, but was still not prepared for the reality of it. He said that the desert gave him a welcoming party in the form of a huge dust storm. Talk about getting a rude awakening..

It was surreal talking with him and picturing him in my mind still as the baby that I fought so hard for. Not long after he was born he contracted a long term illness and was in and out of hospitals for over a year. We almost lost him a couple of times. I stayed with him in the hospital day and night and would only go home every other day to shower and get a change of clothes. I became an expert in sink showers and sleeping in a recliner.

Later when I got divorced the kids would go back and forth between their dad's house and mine. When I moved to Arizona the kids decided that they wanted to stay with their dad because of their friends. I hated not having them with me but my primary goal was whatever made them happy despite my feelings.

Later on Max got into the usual teenage troubles. One day his dad called me and said "I am done. He is your problem now. He will be at the airport tomorrow morning" WHAT???? Well I was shocked and not at all prepared for that. I picked up at the airport a VERY ANGRY teenager. He and I fought and darn near killed each other the first year. I just kept thinking somewhere in there is that sweet boy that I raised. After a couple of wake-up calls he changed into a wonderful son. He made up his classes he failed and went to online school to get extra credits. He ended up graduating early from school and enlisted into the Marines. We fought about that to but I knew that his happiness came first despite my wanting to protect him.

We became best buds and went on many road trips together. We had tons of laughs and I made him try new things. I have so many fond memories like the time his eyes bugged out when he saw firecrackers for sale in New Mexico. He was like a kid again. Yes, we bought some and he had a ball setting them off in an empty field. The first road trip without him was hard. Way to quiet and I kept remembering our trips together.

It was actually harder for me than I expected when he left overseas because all through training and boot-camp he was still close enough that I could bail him out if he got into trouble. There I have to leave him to the care of his Master Sergeant. Talk about feeling helpless.

We talked so much about everything and he was unsure about a lot of things. By then end of the phone call he was feeling much better.

Guess he still needs his Mama...:-)

1 comment:

  1. Semper Fi Lisa! You are one of the Few, the Proud, A Marine Corps Mom ! My mom had your feelings when I was shipped overseas (Vietnam) and we always need our Mama. God bless you and your marine. Be safe and assured that your marine is a part of the best trained force in the world. May they all return home soon.