You came into this world on a wing and a prayer. I desperately wanted you so much! As you know my first child being born handicapped made me dive into trying to help get him to a place where he could be self sufficient. I spent all day and night taking care of him and doing therapy. I had no time to think of having another child. I was devastated when I realized he was not going to be able to take care of himself. After some time had passed I start thinking about having another child. It was not a decision I took lightly. I made up my mind that I was ready for another child even if they too would have had problems.
Trying to have a baby but miscarrying over and over was hard. I had put my feelings in a safe place so I would not hurt so much when I lost another baby. When it was confirmed that it was your turn to try to enter the world I did everything I could to help you along. Doctors ordered staying in bed, getting weekly shots and praying you would not come out early. I had some help so I could stay in bed with Dad keeping the house picked up. Then one day it was time to get out of bed because you were coming. I then had everything ready for you to come home. I was not prepared for the rush of emotions I experienced as you were born and you began to cry. It was like in that one moment I fully realized I actually had been pregnant and had just had a baby. What an emotional rush as the floodgates opened on the safe place where I had put my feelings for years. Love filled me up and overflowed because it could not be contained within my body. You came into this world surrounded with the love of your whole family. Everyone was in the room crying from joy.
One day after we came home I was holding you on my lap and looking into your eyes as you were looking into mine. I had an epiphany as I realized even though you were a separate person with your own soul you were me. Not only do you have my genes, my family is your family and so on but what I realized was more than that. We come from the same place. In essence we are the same. I fiercely wanted to make sure you had comfort, were fed, clothed and happy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone felt that way about everyone. Love one another is something we are all supposed to do. As human beings we all come from the same place. Just imagine what it would be like if our world filled with love. It would be as though we were living in heaven.
You watched me sacrifice my life out of love for my family and what I felt was morally right to do. Your life could have been easier as well as mine if I would have followed the recommendations of others and put your older brother into a home. I felt that it was better for him to be taken care of with love than off somewhere even though that mean life would be difficult for me. Even though I was grounded as a care giver I never let that stand in the way of you being able to do things. I wanted and encouraged you to live life fully. You came into the world an old soul and very smart where people around you noticed and would comment about it. I always trusted you would make the right decisions for yourself even when I wasn’t around. Every time you wanted to learn or explore something new I was excited and gave you the means and freedom to do so. I had no hope for any outcome in your life other than you to be educated and happy. I watched you grow into the amazing man that you are becoming and always have been very proud of you.
You came home one day to tell me you were going to join the United States Air Force. We talked about your reasons and I respected your decision. You were ready to make the sacrifice you felt that you had to make for your country. I guess one thing I taught you inadvertently is that sometimes you have to give up personal desires for yourself for a greater good. I don’t take your sacrifice lightly nor do most people. It is amazing that only 1% of the population will ever serve in the military.
Now it is time for me to cut the umbilical cord and set you free in the world. I drove you to MEP’s (Military entrance processing station) and watched you drive away. Then I was excited that we were able to come visit you in your hotel before you left. As we drove back home I was wondering if you were getting any sleep. The next morning was wonderful because we were getting to see you again. On this visit I watched you swear in and took many photos. I was so full of pride! The Air Force is lucky to be getting such a great human being! I am thankful that I was able to get the time with you that day. I got a terrific hug from you and then it was time to watch you drive away in the bus.
You are leaving our house in the same way you came in. I am once again caught up in a rush of emotion I was not expecting. I always thought it was cliche to watch a movie where parents seemed to overact at their children leaving home. My rational mind tells me that this is a great decision you have made and I am happy about it. From somewhere inside of me once again there is a rush as the floodgates are opened and my feelings are all over the place. Pride, fear, sadness, happiness, worry, excitement and many other words are all jumbled together and coming out almost all at the same time. I tried to shield you from my emotional roller coaster so you wouldn’t feel bad leaving although I’m sure I did a horrible job of keeping it all in.
As I walked to my car to come back home I kept having thoughts run through my mind. I hope you left feeling happy. I hope and wonder that I said everything I should have said over the years. I know I repeated myself many times not knowing if I told you something important. I wonder if you truly know how much you are loved? Do you really know how proud we are of you? Do you know how wonderful you are? I hope they quickly see in you all the wonderful attributes you have!