I was at church tonight and went to choir practice. Today, I felt happier than I have felt in a very long time. After practice, our director asked if I was okay. "You seem so sad," he said...and my sister-in-law agreed. WOW. This is hard, there is no denying that. As my husband so aptly said: This is boot camp for parents, too.
When we got the form letter giving us the PIR date, we waited a few days then bought plane tickets and began planning our trip to Great Lakes.
First real letter = pretty encouraging...but very short.
Second letter = encouraging with a twist...failed the 3rd part of the swim test twice and needed to pass it. He said he panicked and "Mom, what can I do to make that stop?" His letter was sent Sunday; we got it Wednesday; the letter I wrote him immediately would probably not reach him for a week. I prayed...and I prayed hard...that his stress would enter my body instead of his, and God answered that prayer. I have never in my entire life felt such panic and loss of control of my emotions. I cried almost all day Wednesday and most of Thursday (and crying is not something I do very often). I begged for (and received) anti-anxiety medication from my doctor. I simply could not handle the loss of control of my emotions.
Thursday afternoon, we got a phone call. Our son had passed the swim test on Monday!!! What JOY! What RELIEF! "One problem, though, Mom...my feet are hurting. What can I do?" I asked if he had any pain reliever, and he said he had some left from a pretty bad cold he had. I told him to take that...it should help. "I love you so very much and I'm praying for you every day! I have been worried that you will hit an obstacle and lose faith in yourself and think you can't do it." "MOM, I am halfway through; there is NO WAY I would quit." He also told me that he has written a lot of letters that he would send on Sunday.
I could breathe again.
I expected a letter on Wednesday, since the past two Wednesdays we had received letters. There was none. Our daughter is a college cheerleader, and she really wanted us to attend an event on her campus Thursday evening, so we did that. With four kids, our lives cannot revolve around only one of them. We had a great time with her...meeting some of her friends, visiting with her cheer coach, even riding a zip line (which was a little anti-climatic). We took her to Wal-Mart for some cough medicine (to try to ward off the pneumonia her asthma usually brings) when my husband's phone rang.
"OH, HI, Justin! What? Really, WHY? Oh...what? New address?" "Jolene, do you have a pen? Hurry!!!"
I only had time to say, "Justin, I really love love love you! Everything will be fine! I am praying for you every hour of every day." *click
My husband explained our son has stress fractures in both his feet and the recovery time is 6-8 weeks. He would be in RCU until healed. The end. That's all.
Wait...he might be able to call Sunday afternoon.
The call came. We had about 15 minutes -- not nearly enough time. He sounded discouraged and disheartened but not even close to giving up. He had been to chapel. His "former" division had performed very well...without him (not because he wasn't there...but without him). They will graduate on time.
Our son will sit in Ship 04 until his stress fractures heal and he can run again.
AngelW...whoever you are...your words of encouragement have helped tremendously. However, if I looked sad tonight to people who haven't interacted with me in a while, I cannot imagine how I have looked the past few weeks.
Will this be easier when he is at A school 1400 miles away? Will this be easier when he is in a sub on the ocean floor? Will this be easier when...
Dear God, I need Your peace...and I need to know your protective arms are wrapped around my son...and all the other sons and daughters in his situation.
Yes...boot camp for parents...