Yesterday morning I was watching the news and cried as our military was leaving Iraq. I remember the day that my son joined the Marines, and that faithful day when he called and said that he got his orders, “Mom, in a few short months I will be heading to Iraq.” Those are words a mother never forgets.
During his deployment I was glued to the news. I kept it on 24/7 hoping that someone… anyone would show up at my son’s base and film him. When they had the “Wall of Heroes” we emailed in his picture, and each time my telephone rang I would run to the phone in hopes it would be him.
I kept my Internet on 24/7 too. In the event he had a moment to chat I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss it. My Laptop went everywhere I did.
I also had a Cross.
When my son was a child, he made me a wooden Cross, and I put garland and lights around it, and it hung in my family room. When he went to Iraq I took that Cross and hung it outside , and never unplugged it. One-by-one my neighbors stopped by my home to ask me about the Cross, and I told them that I wasn’t going to unplug it until my son (and all those who were serving) were home. One night the lights went out and my neighbors all gathered and came up to my porch. When I opened the door they were standing there in silence until one said, “Gina, is everything okay?”
“Your Cross. The lights went out and we thought something happened to your son.”
I looked and sure enough the lights burnt out, but within that moment… I realized that my neighbors were paying attention.
When my son finally came home from Iraq I continued to leave my Cross up until the Cross fell apart. Years of being out in the elements will do that to wood, but what I realized yesterday was— even though my wooden Cross no longer hangs, my heart still prays daily for all those who have been so far away from all those they love.
And, to those who are serving my country… WELCOME HOME AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE!
And to the Gold Star Families of America… ALWAYS PRAYING FOR YOU AND WILL NEVER FORGET!
And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again. Acts 21:6
ONWARD TO BRINGING THEM HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN!