As a military Mom, I have had the experience of saying “See ya later” instead of good-bye, for the past five years that our son has been in the military. It doesn’t get any easier. Today was once again a “see ya later” day.
With tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and so much love in my heart, I say “see ya later”, until the next time we meet again.
What makes it tolerable is the knowing that my son is doing what he feels passionate about: serving his country but at a great sacrifice to himself.
He has to be the one to bravely move forward to a new location, uprooting himself from friends and family and making new connections at his next duty station or billet.
He is the one who must leave his life as he knows and creates it on hold as he goes on patrol for an extended time period, saying good-bye or “see ya later” to his family and friends, missing special occasions as he proudly serves his country.
I have seen many Moms and Dad’s leave their families portside for months at a time, missing first days or schools, birthdays, holidays and other special events while they serve. Not only does it tug at my heart strings for them, but it also makes me feel incredibly grateful for their sacrifice.
I don’t know when I’ll next see my son and his family. They live a thousand miles away. I am so grateful for the ability to stay in touch via email, text, phone and video. The gift of technology makes the distance melt away, it’s the next best thing to being there in person.
I have been blessed that our son and his family have been able to visit three times this year. This year I have journeyed with pancreatic cancer and I was unsure if or when we’d be able to see each other again.
During their first visit, they surprised me when I was first diagnosed and having procedures in the hospital. The second visit they came down for a family wedding while I was undergoing chemotherapy. This visit, I am happy to report, I am no longer having any treatments and have a great diagnosis following my life-saving surgery.
I felt good enough this trip, to go sightseeing and just hang out with them and my heart is so full of love and gratitude for that simple pleasure.
Son, I am incredibly proud of you and the other men and women who serve our country. Your service means so much and I am filled with humble gratitude at the magnitude of your daily sacrifice for the benefit of all here at home. I am in awe of you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Until the next time we can be together in person, I bid you adieu or “see ya later” with a heart full of love and gratitude. I am so proud of you.