I sat staring at my computer in bleak understanding, sobbing uncontrollably…and I wonder how many of you were right there with me, wiping away your tears as you also tried to continue reading. Reading the piece published by CNN, written by Ashley Fantz. You can read the article here. And I encourage every military spouse, every military family member, every single service member… every single American… to please, please read her words and watch the videos by Nick Scott.
As I sat here reading the piece, I didn’t realize how violently I had been crying until I heard a little voice say “Ba-ba?” (her name for me, my two year old) as she tilted her little sweet head slightly. She climbed up in my lap and gave me an un-solicited kiss and hug… tiny hands patting me on the back as if to say “It will be okay, Mommy… don’t be sad.”
I don’t know when I stopped trying to hide tears from my children… when did I realize that they know? And that they need to understand that Mommy knows too…and can cry, violently sometimes, and still pick up and keep going?
My youngest has never had to spend a significant amount of time away from her Dad, a Marine. He has only been gone for a three month course in California during her short life, and we were able to visit him during that time. She has never had to move to another state, although we are hopeful that is coming this summer. She is too young to understand the meaning of military service or sacrifice…she does not know the meaning of “war.”
But my oldest, months away from being an honest-to-goodness teenager when she turns 13 this summer, has lived her entire life as a child of a military parent, during a time of war. She was born just months before the towers fell. I remember being on leave in my mother-in-law’s living room (she raised two United States Marines), holding this tiny baby as we watched the news, thinking “what just happened?” and KNOWING that life had just drastically changed for the military family.