This morning Andrew left for three weeks of advanced military training. He’s only flying to the middle of America. It’s not like he’s flying into the middle of war, but still… I pray and watch the clock and hope I might get a text that all is well… eventually. I wonder if he feels those prayers?
When David’s boots touched ground in Afghanistan for the first time, when Daniel married his high school sweetheart and set out across country in a driving blizzard, when Ian boarded a plane for Ecuador during political upheaval to work in the jungle… did they know I was praying, watching the clock and hoping to hear… eventually?
Do they know my calendar is filled with their comings and goings and birth dates? That my notepad has times and dates and names of people and places scattered among my doodles? Wether it’s a trip halfway round the world or across town, they are always milling about in my head and heart. Always.
The prayers of moms for their little ones don’t end just because they grow up. In fact they get bigger, more complex, more consistent as daughters-in-law, grandchildren, careers, promotions and hurtful losses enter in.
I’ve always felt my mother’s prayers.
When the boys were small and we lived 3000 miles from family and times were hard, I felt my mother’s hand one day. We had been waiting for a check. The cupboards and fridge looked mighty empty. I didn’t want to be a pest, but I finally picked up the phone to ask if there was a problem. They were all apology. It had “slipped thru the cracks”. They would try to get it out that day, but they were short-staffed.
So I hung up the phone and flopped on my bed. I swung my arm up to put under my head, but instead my hand flopped down on my forehead. As goofy as this might sound, it was my mother’s hand… cool, comforting and soft. I smelled her perfume. I heard her voice, “it’s ok honey… just pray”.
Just awhile ago, as I was typing this post the text arrived. He’s away. Good son.