Counting Them Home

David's house ~ Fayetteville 2004

Calendars and clocks were no use to me…at least not until the very end.  And even then there is no civilian who can compete with the Army’s time table.

The days of sons deployed …. these were counted in missed Christmases and birthdays… in breaking news stories I didn’t want to watch but couldn’t help myself.  They were counted in quiet morning time and no sleep nights.

The rare phone call was captured in the notebook by the phone …. mostly filled with my scribbled doodles as my heart listened for the heart on the other end.  Words weren’t necessarily necessary.

Brothers’ weddings, a death and births marked time…. while two shuttled between ~ Home ~ Afghanistan ~ Iraq.

Eight years of U.S. postal service customs tags listing books, CDs, cookies~lots of cookies, sand scarves, hats, gloves, sheets and blankets, letters, licorice.  Silly pieces of paper to keep, I suppose.  But pieces of our history.

“Tell me what to send” I would plead.

“Anything, Mom, just send anything”.  So I sent anything and hoped.

Andrew and Doug

The best counting was the homecoming…six of them…. almost a “new birth” kind of feeling.  I was there for four, Doug for all six.  His Viet Nam experience demanded his boys come home to the sight of least one person there who loved them.

Brothers ~ Ian and Andrew
Robert and Uncle Andrew
David and me 2004
David and his dogs, 2008

We spent more money than we could afford on last-minute plane tickets.  We drove like crazy people so we.. so he…could be there.  The credit card companies loved us…. still do …. we’re still paying.  I would pay it ten times over.

Other moms and dads would do the same …. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind the credit card bill either …. except, they never had the opportunity.

4 thoughts on “Counting Them Home

  1. Words cannot express what I am feeling…but my tears can!
    The sacrifice of our military, and their families, is beyond description; you are loved and appreciated by my family.
    God bless you!


  2. Ah, those moments when they are finally home again. A funny story: I met our son, on leave from Iraq, in Iowa when his wife was delivering their baby girl, our first granddaughter. He had waited for the plane on the airstrip in Kuwait for quite awhile, relaxing in the sunshine, enjoying not having to be on the alert. While in the pharmacy stateside picking up a prescription for his wife, the pharmacist asked him where he had gone for vacation. I guess, being February in Iowa, his sunburned, tanned skin stood out. He told her, Iraq. She got embarrassed and flustered, not the answer she had expected. Not exactly a typical “vacation spot!”


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