color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: The Phone Rang… and Other Things

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Phone Rang… and Other Things

The phone rang mid-morning today and when I checked the caller ID, it said “Fort Huachuca” -- the nearest Army base to us. My heart skipped a beat and I could hardly press the "on" button.
"Hello, this is Ms. S from the Morale and Welfare office at Fort H... I understand your son is deployed to Iraq.."
"Yes…" My heart was beating so fast I thought I'd hyperventilate before she could speak again. The only thing in my head at that moment was, “Ok, they don't call if he's dead or really hurt... only if he's got a minor injury...”
"Well, I was just calling to let you know that your son has you down as his contact and I wanted to call and give you my name and phone numbers in case you needed anything while he was deployed."

I burst out laughing -- and then very enthusiastically thanked her for calling. I did mention at the end of our conversation how she had about given me a heart attack... and she apologized. My hands were shaking and I about cried when we hung up. A little while later I started to tell my husband the story and as soon as I said, "the caller ID said Fort Huachuca..." he got really pale and, before I could tell him the rest of the story, I had to say, "No, it's ok -- it was a courtesy call from Morale & Welfare...”

My day used to start in the dark at 5:00AM and by 6:30AM I'd be on a bus to New York City praying nobody screwed with the tunnel under the Hudson that day and that no one wanted to cause havoc at Rockefeller Center and that the tourists wouldn't block the sidewalks that day. Ten hours later (on a good day), after a day of dealing with lawyers, clients, meetings, memos and paper, I'd be on my way home.
Here’s my typical day since retiring and my son went to war: I wake whenever the sun gets me up. Before leaving my bed I pray, “Lord, please let this be a good day or night for everyone. Please keep my son and our soldiers safe.” If the dogs haven’t been out yet, I open the door to the yard; check their food and water on the way to the kitchen. If he’s out of bed before me, I track down the hubby and we hug and kiss, and I tell him I love him. If he hasn’t already made me coffee, I put my coffee on. If the cats haven’t been fed, I do that. I cruise into the home office and wake the computer up, turn off the “I’m Away” message and quickly check to see if my son or any of his battle buddies are online, then scan the list for my other kids, family and friends. I turn the volume on the speakers up so that if that “Moo” comes we can hear it.

Next, I open emails and respond. I get a lot of Department of Defense releases and releases from an online military news service. Others are from news services and newspapers and I select the most interesting headlines and read those articles. This fills a few hours of the mornings when we or I don’t have plans. Even if we have commitments, if my son or one of the other soldiers IM’s me, I’ll be running late because I won’t ignore IM’s from “my guys”. I now have their screen names programmed with sounds (different from the “moo”). The guys know we're happy to call their families and let them know their soldier is online. The bulletin board opposite the computer has little slips of papers with phone numbers scrawled on them for quick reference… It’s so heartwarming when I get to hear a brother or sister yell, “Mom! Turn on the computer! V’s online!” or a wife say, “Oh thank you so much!”

We watch a number of the cable news channels during the day. Even if we’re sitting and reading, the television is on and tuned to a news station. I’ll stop in the office and check emails occasionally during the day and log on to news sites just to see if there have been any developments. My husband will do the same. In the evening, I repeat the morning pattern: feed the cats, let the dogs out, check the emails and the online list, tell my husband for at least the 20th time today that I love him. Then I climb into bed and pray, “Lord, please let this be a good day or night for everyone. Please keep my son and our soldiers safe.” Some nights I can fall asleep. Some nights I don’t wake on the hour every hour. Some nights.


Half way through my morning today my son came on line. They are only getting mail about every three days so he hasn’t had mail yet this week. He still hasn't gotten the shooting gloves I ordered and had sent direct to him almost 7 WEEKS AGO despite the company’s assertions that they were mailed! Nor have the safety glasses arrived AFTER SIX WEEKS – again the company telling me they were mailed… and each company saying, “Well, it takes a while for things to get there. Check back the first of the month.” Our packages are getting to my son in two or three weeks! My blood’s doing a slow boil. My son couldn't stay on long as he was going to catch some sleep until he had to be back for a patrol in four hours, but he did say they heard that the big shoot out at the insurgents' training camp was a hell of a firefight.

I got a new digital camera yesterday and I played with it a while today learning some of the features... 'cause I'm going to a baseball game tomorrow! So now, “Lord, please let this be a good day or night for everyone. Please keep my son and our soldiers safe.”
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.


At 3/24/2005 9:13 PM , Blogger Shelle said...

Lord, your nights sound like mine! And that call would have freaked me out too... Hugs and prayers for yours and ours and theirs. We have tons of heroes in our midsts.

At 3/26/2005 3:50 PM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

I am so glad I found your blog. My son is a soldier also. He is going to Iraq in 4 months and I am scared to death. My days and nights are consumed in prayer. I am praying constantly that peace will come to Iraq and all of our men and women in uniform can come home. God please keep our military safe...


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