This week, my twenty-year-old son, Jesse, returned home from a deployment to Afghanistan with the United States Marines. The word son and home must be two of the sweetest words a mother could put together in any sentence.
What can I say…
After many months of missing my son, worrying and praying, and repeatedly reining in my over-active imagination, I am beyond thankful and so very proud to have him safely at home once more. The reunion was overwhelmingly happy and fully of emotion. I was finally satisfied to see him stand tall before me, to feel his warm embrace, to look deeply into his eyes, and to listen to his many stories of far-flung adventure. He served his country with great honor, willingly protected my freedom, and risked his own life to keep his family safe. He is not only my son, he is my hero.
Since the early days of each child’s infancy, most parents have a deep yet simple longing to SEE that their children are warm, dry, satisfied, and protected. Perhaps that is why we check on them again and again. And then once more! What a reassurance each time we can confirm that our babies, our toddlers, and even our adult children are content and unharmed.
My heartwarming reunion with my military son is a taste of things to come, for deep in the secret places of my heart, I am holding out to experience that same joyful and emotional reunion with another son, Zachary, who took his own life at the age of sixteen. For five and a half years, I have spent many days lovingly missing him and have endured many more quiet nights imagining what that glad moment of reunion will be like. How wonderful it will be to finally see Zachary, to feel him, and to look deeply into his eyes. In time I will hear his stories of faraway adventure and visit the places he has come to love, but first — I only want to see with my own eyes that my son is really and truly alright.
The thought of that reunion deeply comforts me. Today, while I am enjoying the son I have recently been reunited with — and all the sons and daughters I am blessed to have and love — I also remember the one son I am longing to see again.
May you, too, dream of reunion,