Last night was another one of those nights --- I don't sleep and, when I do, it is a sleep that is anything but restful. I wake myself praying, "Please, God, protect my son and all those with him. Surround them with Your loving hands and protect them from those who would hurt them. Show them their path in life and guide them to it with love and care. Bring them home unscathed by the horrors they see and experience. I gave him to You when he was a baby; now, keep Your Promise and give him fulness of days." And so it goes, hour after hour, night after night.
We have no TV connection to the outside world; we have only the internet for news and sometimes that is too much. Another two die in the stupidity of Afghanistan and Iraq. Fifty more face devasting injuries. A hundred more have injuries we can't see. I feel my knees shake, my heart cries when I hear these things. They are someone's son or daughter, and, yet, I feel a sense of relief that it isn't my son. I feel guilty for these thoughts... but still, I whisper,"Tthank you, Father, it isn't my child." A terrible paradox of empathy and joy.
I wonder how other mothers deal with this. How do they stand the not knowing? How do they face every day without weeping in the grocery line? How do they bear putting their heads on their pillows knowing that their child is in a tent in a country where children throw rocks at his convey and he sees the "impact cloud" where a comrade missed an IED and there is just enough of him left to fill a bag to send to his mother? How can they bear it? I don't know if I can. I am not strong. I am not brave.
Today is day 65. We have another 115 to go. And, this morning, after five days silence there was a single text:
Hey, Mum! You'd love this place because I am with a group of British Special Ops. Last night we saw the new Bond movie. U2!
How did I raise so brave a man? Tighten up, girl, he depends on you to keep it real and normal. I can do it. With God's help.