Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Great news came my way yesterday and I'm still grinning. Are you ready to hear it? Brace yourself for unprecedented happiness and joy.

My son's aircraft carrier - the USS Harry S Truman - is on its way back to home port from the Mediterranean, where it's been bombing the hell out of ISIS targets for the past nine months. Zak's on his way back to Norfolk!!!!!!

I've not seen his handsome face since late October 2015 when he and his beautiful girlfriend came home for a short visit. I've not heard my son's voice since early November when he called from the pier before the ship left port. I tried to be tough as I told him that it wouldn't be that bad, that time would go quickly, and that his six-year commitment to Uncle Sam was almost over. I realize now that I spoke those words for my benefit as much as his. I tried not to cry because he needed me to be strong, but I failed. We said goodbye through tears and hearing the call drop made my heart break. I've not heard his voice since then.

We go nearly a year - sometimes more than that - without being able to talk to/see him, so on those rare occasions when we do, it's pretty damn emotional for me. Peanut might be 24 years old, but he's still my baby boy and it hurts to go all the way around the sun without having him in my daily life. It's so great when I do get the opportunity to see him, but those visits are always very short. When they come to the inevitable screeching halt, I'm a sorry, hot mess. His last visit was no exception.

The day Zak and Kaley were scheduled to fly back to Norfolk so that he could report to the ship, I was physically ill and unable to hold back the tears...before they were even to the table for breakfast. Rather than hanging out while they packed and then waving from the front yard as they drove away - like a normal mom would have done - I said my tearful goodbye and hit the road. I drove and sobbed and ached on my own until they were gone, then I went home and held Lauren tightly before going to bed to cry myself to sleep.

Pathetic? Perhaps to some of you, but I happen to adore my children. I love being around them, listening to them, and laughing with them. Enduring a year or more without either of them is truly painful. The infrequent reunions are sweet, but the unavoidable goodbyes hurt worse each time.

Hopefully, that's about to change! I think this should be Peanut's last lengthy deployment. His enlistment ends in February 2017, so with the exception of a few short deployments between now and then, he should be able to keep both feet on solid ground, which means that I should be able to hear his voice on the phone and one day soon (not soon enough), I'll be able to wrap my arms around him again.

I'm proud of you, Peanut. I love you and can't wait to see your cute little face.