Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 351

Mom – Day 351

Everyone is waiting for President Obama’s speech tomorrow and I am optimistic that he will provide our military with the guidance needed. I know I will disagree with some or maybe even all he has to say but at least I can say I disagree or agree with him – I want to be able to do that. I also want to be optimistic – I need to think in the positive – send out positive signals. I really don’t know if there is such a thing but it doesn’t hurt to try.

I know that I haven’t spoken to Zach since Thanksgiving but I think he is okay. I need to learn to be okay with not having news about him for a time being. I have a few friends that always touch base with me just to let me know that they are there if I need them.

Today is a short message but I am waiting for tomorrow to hear the President’s speech. I don’t feel like doing any research at the moment. I want to let my family know to hang in there. Galen, everything will be okay.

Love you Zach – Be safe

Dad 351

One more down, had a very hard day the evening has not been much better! In a funk, don't even feel like watching the Patriots. I like to watch them with my bud and he is not here! I miss him! Tomorrow is a new day and a day closer! I love you Zach, you are Superman!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

352 Dad

Another day down 351 and a wake-up, or by now for Zach it is already 350 and a wake-up. It matters as we are one day closer to Zach being home safe and sound. I wish we could have talked to him, but we have to understand there may be many days we can't talk to him. So I must salute my flag and say my prayer and tell him hello and keep the faith. I am sure that he hears it and knows that mom and dad along with his family, friends and many others are praying for him and wishing him well! Shane is going back today his family unsure of what will happen with his unit! The disaster that is the Obama Administration will conduct its political dog and pony show for the lame stream media, Shane and many other young men and women could be deployed. I pray that this bunch of bumblers decide weather they are going to fish or cut bait! I can only hope they understand the magnitude of their decisions and care as much for the troops as the troops care for their country. I love you Zach, you are Superman, I miss you!

Day 352

Mom - Day 352

I was hoping to hear from Zach today but I didn’t. Today Zach’s friend Shane left to go back to Ft. Bragg and I am secretly praying he doesn’t go to Afghanistan. I know if he gets called to go, he will not hesitate. The reason for my secret prayers is because I don’t want his family to go to bed every night wondering how their son is. I am proud of our kids and I know they are proud serving our country but I am still a mom.

Today I focused on getting a box ready to go out in the mail tomorrow. I felt good because I felt productive. I did have to go into town to pick up something for Zach at one of the local shops. I left that shop knowing that I will never shop there again. The shopkeeper knew that my son is in Afghanistan and I think he thought I wanted to hear his take on the military and how people in the military feel, his views on President Bush, President Obama, and he just didn’t stop. I was a bit embarrassed because by now people were in the shop. I think he thought he “figured me out”, he thought he knew me, my views, my morals so he kept on talking, thinking he was going to cure me of something. I finally had to say a few choice words – not the ones I really wanted to say. This reminded me of a comment one of my girlfriends said – “regardless of what peoples views are, people support the troops” and I agreed with her at the time she made this comment. Now, I know that this is not always the case.

For the most part, I do believe that as Americans we are proud of our soldiers and we do support them. I feel in my heart that most people put aside their political views and value the service our military men and women do on behalf of our country. Thank you.

Love you Zach – Be safe
Love your Mama

Saturday, November 28, 2009

353 Dad

Breakfast for a bunch of kids laughing and poking fun! Almost normal except that some of the conversation revolved around Zach and his mission in Afghanistan! Freedom is a funny word it is funny because everyone wants it and so few are willing to fight for it! Even fewer are willing to fight for the freedom of others! So many who don't support Christians or Christianity choose to invoke the name of Jesus or God to prove a point about why America is bad or why America is wrong! Interestingly I think it doing what Jesus would want to defend those who cannot defend themselves and to fight for freedom for all! The cause of freedom must always be defended and never be taken for granted! Thank you Zach for serving and God Bless you and keep you safe! You are Superman! I love you!

Day 353

Mom – Day 353

Some of Zach’s friends came by last night, visiting with our host daughter, and they spent the night. In the morning, it felt normal with Galen making breakfast for everyone in the house. Everyone was around the table talking, catching up on news and making discussion. Of course, one of the topics of discussion was around Zach, Afghanistan, Muslims ……

Now, with everyone gone, I just wanted to go back to bed and just sleep. I tried going to sleep but I started thinking about all these things that I am unfamiliar with. I started thinking about Hajji, the word Zach kept on using (I eventually asked him who is Hajji and he told me it refers to someone who made the journey to Mecca). Then I starting thinking about words the words / jargon that surround my son. These are words that I am very unfamiliar with because I grew up surrounded by very different religious views, or should I say political views, or should I say a different way of life. You see, in many ways I grew up with certain religious views, certain political views, and certain views of being an appropriate citizen. Many times these overlap but I still can categorize these in my head. When speaking about the culture, faith, political make-up, or the definition of what an appropriate citizen’s view is for the make-up of most of the Middle East and North Africa, I have difficulty categorizing this.

I have so many things going on in my head but I think I need to get out of bed. I wish I could just tell my brain to stop or slow down for just a bit – and I wish I could tell my body to get motivated. I just can’t help it, in reality I don’t want to do anything I want to sit in a corner and cry and for all of this to just go away. I want to understand the whys of this war – and whose war is it??? I hope my daughter understands that I love her and I apologize for being so consumed with all of this. I think some of this will subside when I write “ Mom – Day 1 and then Mom - Day 0”.

I love you Zach – Be safe

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 354

Mom – Day 354

Today is another day without my children but it was great to see Shane. Shane is Zach’s dear friend that entered the Army the exact time as Zach and they both went into the same MOS. Shane is currently serving at Ft. Bragg. With the uncertainty of our mission in Afghanistan, we are not sure if he is going to be deployed. I know that Shane is not my biological child but I am super attached to him. His Mom is always there for me and she also shares my pain. As she told me today, “we can only take one day at a time, that is all we can do” and she is right. I can count down but I can only do it a day at a time.

I survived Thanksgiving even though I didn’t want to, now the holiday season has begun. The holiday season can be a real wonderful time or a very difficult time. I am so glad my daughter will be here for Christmas because she will keep me moving forward.

I love you Zach – Be safe

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 355

Mom – Day 355

So today is Thanksgiving. Yesterday for some reason I was having a real hard time coping with the fact that I wasn’t going to have my kids with me here for Thanksgiving and in Zach’s case he will be completely without his family. Galen tried to cheer me up but I couldn’t get myself together. I stayed in the parking lot in downtown for a long time trying to get my composer and then I just didn’t care anymore. When Galen got home he brought me roses, a red rose for me, two yellow ones for my kids and orange roses for my extended kids. In the evening we went to the movies and finally I laughed and it felt good.

Today, I spoke with Zach and I could tell in his voice that he really misses home and eating my turkey and being with family. He told me that this was his first Thanksgiving without family, with people trying to kill him (they had a mortar attack) and with a rifle in his hand. When he told me this, it really didn’t register because it was almost surreal. I couldn’t imagine what was going on, why did this happen??? When I heard Zach describing his day, I felt like I was watching a silent black and white in slow motion. I wish I could do something but I couldn’t, all I could do was listen.

I also spoke to my daughter today. She said that she was jealous that Zach has a whole blog dedicated to him. I smiled because she is not one to be jealous (Zach is always jealous of his sister or his host sisters) but Victoria is always nonchalant about everything. I told her it was nice to hear that she was jealous because now I know she is still my little girl.

What is Thanksgiving for???? I didn’t want to have Thanksgiving! I didn’t want to do the turkey thing or anything, but I did. Today ended up being a good day. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have two really great kids that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I have family and friends and host daughters that worry and care about my family. The phone didn’t stop ringing and Skype didn’t slow down today. I felt guilty because everyone is doing this for us and I haven’t been able to focus on other people. People continue living and things happen that I should acknowledge – like a new child – but I am so wrapped up in what I do that I forget. I don’t do this intentionally. Somehow, people seem to always understand – thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I love you Ash and Zach – Be safe Zach.
Love your Mama

355 Dad

Thanksgiving a day of thanks yet for me a day for a wish and a prayer! It was odd to eat today as we had Thanksgiving with Zach only three weeks ago! The conversation with Zach brought it back around. I am truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for! My lovely wife, my kids Victoria and Zach, and my extended kids: Mina, Eline, Julie, Marjo, Yackeline, Nestor and Cuauhtemoc. All have had a wonderful impact on my life and each is special to me! I have a good job and a good life. Thankful but wishful; was very pleased to talk to Zach today, but stressed to learn Zach spent part of his day in a bunker as his outpost was under attack! That makes me focus on the important things. I want to be there to protect him but have faith in him and his comrades! I know he will be ok not just thinking positive but he is superman! I say it over and over but I believe it! My head spins sometimes but I can't let the stress of this win and I won't because what ever I feel, is nothing compared to what Zach is enduring and we have to be strong for him and each other! God bless you Zach and keep you safe! I love you bud!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

356 Dad

Thanksgiving tomorrow, with all the stress of the preparing a beautiful dinner I thought it would be nice to have an evening out. It was a nice dinner at the granary - beating Marjo 7-0 in air hockey and then a movie. "Old Dogs" with John Travolta and Robin Williams, Lisa was laughing so hard she was making all of us laugh. It was nice to hear, she needs that! I thought about the movies Zach is missing I have to remember to send this one to him when it comes out on DVD or rent it when he comes home next Christmas! Zach you are in my thoughts every moment I am awake and in my prayers with every breath! You are Superman! I miss you and I love you with all that is in within me!

Day 356

Mom – Day 356

It is funny to date this blog backwards, always having to count backwards. With this said it is somewhat rewarding like when you workout and you are on that stair-master. I always want to know how much time I have left, never the other way around. When I am on the stair-master and I look at the time going down I know that I can endure the time on clock so I keep moving. This blog is like that stair-master, I know how many days I have to endure and at the end I know I did it!

This morning was great because Zach called me and we got to speak for about an hour and a half. When I finished speaking to him, I really felt good – I felt relieved that I spoke to him. He is very limited with Internet access but at least I know. I know how he is doing and something about his life now. I thought that hearing his voice would calm my emotions but I am still like a faucet – on, off, on, off. Tomorrow will be Zach’s first Thanksgiving without his family.

I Love you Zach – Be safe
Love Mama

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 357

Mom – Day 357

I am so tired today and I don’t want to be sad. I can’t stop worrying but I need to keep thinking positive. I need to … I don’t know?

I don’t understand how people can hate people (that they don’t know) so much that they would prefer that he/she would be killed. I don’t understand hatred and the lack for the value of life. With all this said, there are so many people with love, compassion and courage in this world. For example, imagine the courage of the women who lived under the Taliban rule that wanted to continue their education. These women risked their lives under the “Golden Needle Sewing School” where they would secretly continue their studies. People still believe in humanity, they still love, and they still feel compassion.

I want to thank everyone who still keeps my family and me in mind. I want to thank my girlfriend that always leaves me a note or something that lets me know she is there with me - my son’s friend that wrote me an email that brought tears to my eyes – the hugs, emails, calls, cards from my family, friends, colleagues, host family, and strangers. I especially want to thank you for letting me vent and listening.

I love you Zach – be safe
Love your Mama

Day 357 Dad

Another day passes the sun came up and it set much like it has done for 10000 plus years! It means another day has passed and a day closer to Zach coming home safe and sound! I hear that the President has finally made a decision on Afghanistan, but it has to wait until a press conference next Tuesday - why hurry! I wrote Zach a letter I hope that we can talk to him soon! In my own way I talk to him every day, when I go out and look at the flag on our lawn and the yellow ribbons on our trees! I always say hello and wonder how his day has gone as it is almost night time by the time I go outside with Jack our dog! The way I get by - my morning hello and my little prayer, I love you son, I love you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 358

Mom – Day 358

Today I woke up with the news on and my heart fell. I heard that 4 more American soldiers were killed Sunday, YESTERDAY ☹ I believe three of the soldiers were killed in the Helmand Province, in the district of Musa Qala – this is north of Kábul. I think all the families with their loved ones fighting in our wars are always tuned into the news. I still don’t know why we are out there and I am still praying that President Obama knows what he is doing. I pray every night for strength and strength for our leaders. I get frustrated hearing that it has been 86 days since Gen. McChrystal let our President know what his needs were for our troops. The new deadline that I am now hearing is that the President will make a decision before the year ends. I hope our President prays every night for our military and our fallen men and women.

This evening I met up with one of my old girlfriends. It was nice to see her but more than that I knew she knew how I felt. I knew she felt my pain. Somehow this was so comforting. Yesterday I spoke to my Tía, and she reminds me over and over to always think positive, we are in God’s hands. Today, I received an email from my brother that says he thinks about Zach every single day. ----- What I am trying to say, all these small acts are comforting. There are many more gestures from my friends and family that helps me cope everyday. I think it is sometimes hard for people around me to know what to say but I feel this way also. I am sometimes so consumed with my thoughts on Afghanistan, the war and my son that I think everyone must be concerned with these issues as well. I zone out the fact that everyone has a life and things are happening around me.

Think positive, pray and remember our service men and women.

I love you Zach and my family.
Be safe.

358 (Dad)

It is now 86 days since General McChrystal requested more troops and to see pictures of the President playing golf which ordinarily would not bother me just hits like a knife. I know he has to relax and unwind, but then I think of Lisa and her inability to concentrate and focus and realize for the men and women on the ground in harms way and their families there is no relaxing. It is just the constant struggle to cope with feelings of fear, frustration and helplessness. Four soldiers died in Afghanistan today, and I checked to find out where, hoping it is not where Zach is. It isn’t which on one hand makes me feel better and on the other anguishes me as somewhere a child of parents or the parent of a child(ren) or a spouse will not be coming home. With relief you sigh and thank God that it is not your son as well as pray for our son’s continued safety all this while the president is playing golf!!!! I am trying to stay positive and be there for Lisa, she is strong and I know that while her feelings are going to be the same until he returns safe and sound, time will hopefully make daily living a little easier for her. Zach will be ok I know this – I don’t know why – but I do. I remember him saying to his mother not long ago, “don’t worry mom, I am Zach Dalrymple, I am indestructible.” He is superman! To prove it he dressed as Superman one year for Halloween, it would not surprise me if that suit made for a 10 year old is not somewhere in his room. Sometimes I have longed for him to be a little boy again but really can't wait for him to be out of the army so that we can go fishing, hunting and camping! I miss my bud! I love you Zach!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mom – Day 359

It is already late and I should be getting ready for bed but I can’t seem to stop reading about the horror the women of Afghanistan and Western Pakistan had / have to endure under the Taliban. I can’t believe that God or Allah, condones the treatment of women in such a degrading manner. Regardless of how I may or may not feel about the war in Afghanistan, I do think that it is shameful how the Taliban have treated these HUMAN BEINGS. The Burqa is just one small aspect of how they wanted full control of “their” women. The women and girls that happened to be born in this part of the world were stripped of everything. They were stripped of their education, social life, education, medical attention and being productive citizens. Imagine one day waking up and everything was taken away from you, no more schools, doctors, beauty salons, even your laughter. I encourage all women to read Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi. A girlfriend of mine told me to read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and the other book, which I am about to read, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

Well, I am upset that I missed Zach’s call twice yesterday. Can you believe that, I can’t. I have been glued to my phone all day yesterday except for the ½ hour that I left to go out to eat at the Truck Stop and then when I went to the bathroom (I didn’t feel the vibrate of my phone). I do know that he made some contact with one of my nephews today so that makes me feel a bit better. I need to try and be more positive so I can be focused on positive vibes instead of negative ones – Easier said than done, right! I didn’t hear from him today either but I know that I can’t control this (again this is what I am saying now – tomorrow I might be a basket case)

Thank you all for reading this – did you know you were going to be my Therapist? It is nice to know that people care.

I love you Zach, be safe.
Xoxoxo - Mama

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 360

Mom - Day 360

I finally slept. I have been so exhausted that it is so so nice to finally be able to sleep. Galen got up early in the morning and he got a deer. I am sure he wishes Zach were here to be with him. Waking up feeling better, my mind is going a mile a minute.

Today I want my readers to respond, to comment. I want to tell you that I might be Zach’s mom but I don’t know what I am suppose to be doing! I need help. I am sure that some of you must know someone that has a son or daughter, friend, cousin or someone that has been there! I need to know things. I am asking for help. I started a list of things that I think he might need, but I got that list by asking my girlfriends and family. You might have some suggestions. Tell me what you think he might need and this way I can share this information. What are things that they may need or want, are there certain things that are not a good idea to send, maybe you have some additional packing ideas. I also need to know little things like what is normal, what is a normal wait time of not hearing anything from him. I don’t know where or if there is a “Unit” for all of us Moms out here throughout the US with their children out fighting. I don’t have that support team telling me what to do or how to cope. I know people are trying to help but this is a way you can help me. I’ll start putting together lists of what is needed and when. Sometimes it sounds so stupid but I don’t know or I am not sure (like I guess it makes sense that they use US postage to mail us a letter because they are on a US post?) Remember as Moms, we worry about all these little goofy things like, how can we send cookies, what is the best packaging, what type of moisturizing cream do they need, can we send them razors? And you guys are not off the hook either because you think different. I don’t know really what you think but I know that Galen thinks about things that never enter my mind and visa versa. So today’s blog is for your help.

Zach, be safe. I love you
Xoxoxo – your Mama

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 361

Mom – Day 361
I am so antsy today. My head seems full of cobwebs; I couldn’t seem to remember how to say common words in Spanish today. My students were very understanding and by the next class I seemed better. Then I did get a call from my husband that said Zach called him and spoke to him for about 10 minutes. Wow, that was so nice to hear. Zach asked his Dad to send him a few things. He is near Kábul now and he would soon leave for FOB Shank. FOB stands for Forward Operation Base and is located (I believe) south of Kábul, near the town of Pul-i-Alam in the Loghar province (just north of the Wardak province). At the end of the day, I figure I really don’t know where he is but it feels good to think I do. Just like I don’t know why he is there but I have to have faith. I did read an article (I didn’t have the energy to verify the reliability of this site) but I found it interesting.
I do encourage everyone to watch the movie, “The Way We Get By”, here is some more information on it
This movie makes you feel good and proud to be an American with good old fashion American values.

Okay, I have to let out my sad part, after all that is part of the reason as to why I started this blog. How many times did I cry today, I ask myself, and I respond, I haven’t stopped. I have cried so much today, on and off that I can’t count. I think I have trained my emotions to spill over when I have any moment alone – in the bathroom, in between classes,….) and then stop when I have to be composed, ready for what I have to do. It seems like everything triggers that sad piece of me.

I pray that I will always be strong for Zach and that he knows that I am super proud of him. He has a good head on his shoulders and a great heart. I also pray that with all this weight sitting on my heart, that my daughter and my husband don’t feel neglected (other than the usual). Now holding true to my nature – I don’t want them to get these big heads thinking I am turning into a softy – remember I am not all that touchy, feely!

I love you Zach – Be Safe
Love your Mama

PS I love you too Ash, Mina (our middle child), Ju Ju, Eline (our baby girl – can’t take Baby of the family status away from Zach because he will get jealous), Temoc …..oops and now there is Marjo.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 362

Mom – Day 362

Today I am still at work, “Parent teacher conferences” so I decided to start writing while I have my dinner break.
This morning was nice because I met a former student that brought me back to my memories when my kids were still in school and I was worrying about if I had the time to chauffeur them everywhere. My problems then seemed so stressful and I was always running around. My kids are so different that they didn’t have any common activities. I was always running and I painfully have to admit that there were times I would forget them. (Sorry Zach for leaving you at the ski slope ☹ and sorry Ash for making you wait for me over and over) Now all of this seems so trivial. I was never ready to be an empty nester and I can’t stand to have a house that is not in a dynamic state. I soon realized that I must love chaos even if it comes with stress, as long as I can have a family, my family. I figured out quickly that I needed to extend my family so I opened my house to other family members and to wonderful “International Exchange students” .
Then this evening, I met so many community members that were coming to meet their children’s teachers. Many of them that knew my son or me asked how he was doing. Some people gave me hugs and some just reiterated how commendable it is for Zach to be serving his country. It was nice to feel the support that is out there.
I got home late and went upstairs to kick off my shoes and change when once again I couldn’t help but cry. I cried because I am scared, I cried for the soldiers’ families that just lost their child today and I cried just because. Sometimes I am amazed that tears can still flow out of me, I don’t know where they even come from – don’t our tear ducts just stop? Gosh, I am starting to depress myself reading what I am writing; I hope you don’t think I should be advertising for a Prozac commercial.
I thank God for a wonderful family and a great community that I live in. I also thank God for Galen, a great father and my soul mate.

I love you Zach, be safe. I also love Ash and all of my other “kids”

Dad's first November 19, 2009

By now my son has been in Afghanistan for two days My heart aches for him. I now know how my father felt as he told me "the Army will just send you to war that is what they do", I still entered the army after college. My son and I are very close and when he first said he was going in the military and not to college part of me was very happy as he was not sure of what he wanted to do the army would allow him time to mature and save money for college. But another part of me realized that the possibility of Zach going to either Afghanistan or Iraq was very real. Now that he has deployed part of me second guess's my support of him and the army not because I don't support the military or our struggle to live free and let others do the same, but because he is my son! What makes me different than any other parent whose child has been called to duty? The answer is nothing I love my child and will worry and pray for his safe return. I know he will do his duty. To me he is already a hero, he joined in a time of war and went airborne, even though he is afraid of heights! The courage and strength it took to go through that demonstrates how special he is. I have been hesitant to write because I don't want this to be political but I can't hide my anger over our weak president who chooses to wait while boots are on the ground to make a decision on his "new" strategy. I think he is in over his head! On the other hand I know Zach volunteered and I applaud him for making that decision. I get my strength from my family my - lovely wife, my quiet daughter who sometimes holds things inside, my extended family kids who are so very special to me! Eline thank you so much for the email. And Zach is so strong but still my little boy, he made me make promise to him that I will do my best to keep because it will be my way to keep him always near me! We will climb that mountain together! I know it has only been days but I miss him. He is my bud. I love you Zach with all my heart!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mom – Day 363

Today is Wednesday here in Maine. I have been thinking about Zach today and one of my girlfriends genuinely made me cry by crying. I am trying to be tough. I don’t know how people see me but I know that it is hard for me to display my emotions to the public. I worry that if I do break down in public then I wouldn’t be able to control myself. I do realize that I also need to be okay with the fact that there are many people that care and love my boy and they too are hurting.

I worry about my son and I feel a weight that is just sitting on me, and my stomach actually feels like I want to throw up. My instincts kick in and I know that I have to be busy. Then I feel guilty that I am not worrying about him, someone needs to think about him, and pray for him.

Switching -→ Did you know: The capital of Afghanistan is Kabul and the country is divided into 34 provinces. I think Zach will be in the Wardak province. The literacy rate for the total population is about 28% with females at 12 ½ %., in the U.S. it is 99%. Right now it is almost 10 pm, Wednesday but in Kabul it is almost 7:30 am, Thursday.

Well, I got distracted with Skype so I ma tired now and I should try and sleep.
Good night

I love you Zach and you too Victoria (if you do read this)
Xoxoxoxoxox love your mama

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 364

Mom – Day 364
Well, no news from Zach but I thought I would share some things I am curious about. Yesterday, after I spoke to Zach, and he told me how cold he was, I realized that I needed to educate myself on that region of the world. I am not claiming to be an expert by any means, but if you are reading this you might find these tid-bits of information interesting.

Did you know?????: Afghanistan is a bit smaller than the size of Texas. Afghanistan and Pakistan are in South Asia. Afghan. boarders six countries: (starting North) Tajikistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Winters are cold and summers are hot. It is also the world’s largest opium producer ☹ The life expectancy is 44 ½ - approximately the same for both male and female. The official languages are Afghan Persian (Dari) and Pashto.

Well, while I was writing this my friend Barbara Skyped me and asked me to check out Facebook, she thought Zach was on-line. She was right and I had a few moments to chat with him. He will be leaving soon – right now it is 9pm here but it is 8 am over there – next day.

I am blessed to have great kids, a great husband, a strong family, wonderful friends and an extended family (all of my wonderful “other” children)

Zach, I love you. Be safe and remember your Mama and Papa love you, and and and (sister …)


Monday, November 16, 2009

Mom – Okay, I think today is actually day 365 so I think I will start again---→ Welcome to day 365. I had the opportunity to Skype with Zach today for some time. It was nice to hear from him even with our connection being lost every couple of minutes. He’s in Kyrgzstan right now and he said that he was cold. I looked it up and it is currently 18 degrees F there. He asked for some L.L. Bean socks and some good mittens. He said he likes the cold if he had the proper clothing. He doesn’t know how long he will be in K but he thinks he will be there maybe another day.

It is funny how a phone call or Skyping can make a world of difference. I can’t imagine a time before all of our gadgets. Unfortunately, I know that I have to appreciate the times I can communicate because the reality is I will not always have that luxury. After speaking to Zach (I had to hang up because our connection was bad), my daughter called. I am blessed to have some great kids. As you can tell, I am in better spirits.
The support from the community has been great. I had a phone call from someone in the community telling me that their church members have Zach in their list of prayers. This was so touching because it isn’t even the church I belong to. I have had so many people hug me, and just share with me their warmth.

Well Good-night.
Love you Zach

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009

Day 365
Mom - Is today DAY 365? I am not even sure. When does the count down start? I looked at his orders again and I can’t tell. I think the countdown starts when he actually arrives in Afghanistan but I hope it starts today. I am going to start today because I need to start counting down – I had to say good-bye, until the next time I hear his voice or maybe I will be lucky enough to see his face via Skype.

Today we tied yellow ribbons around the trees that are aligned with the road. We had him be with us to tie one ribbon around one tree before he left and I will wait for him to take that ribbon down.

I am thinking about my son because I know he is filled with all sorts of emotions. I know that he didn’t say everything to me that was in his head and heart because he doesn’t want me to worry. He is leaving on a journey that is new to him and unknown so I know that must be worrisome. I am comforted (and I think he is as well) for the fact that he will be going with soldiers who are experienced and who are strong both mentally and with their training.

I wonder how his sister is feeling, our oldest? She is not one to express her feelings and she always portrays her strength. I think politically we are all frustrated with what feels like limbo with respect to Afghanistan. I think we wonder why some people don’t understand how we feel. I know that my emotions are strong but I also know that my boy is out there, as a volunteer, so that all of our sons and daughters don’t have to. I sometimes wonder if our military was not volunteer would our leaders, my neighbors that are content with how things are moving, would have their son or daughter fight under the same conditions.

As for now, I don’t know --- it is what it is----

I love you Zach

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Title - 365 days

I am a mom of a soldier that is leaving for Afghanistan on Sunday, November 15th, 2009. He has orders for deployment to Afghanistan for 365 days. I decided to start writing a blog (with my husband) so that I can have a venue to express what I am feeling. Although I am so proud of my son for doing what he feels is right to do for his country, I personally have mixed feelings. I have so many thoughts running through my head that I know I can't express it all - here - in written form.

I sometimes don't know if I should keep up with the news because it is so depressing and frustrating. I don't know what our mission is, what is our interest there - I just don't know. I sometimes think about the history of our presence in Afghanistan and our relationship with Pakistan or the injustice posed on the young women and children of Afghanistan and then I realize that "I" just justified our mission there. Then I snap out of it, and let my mind stop wondering and I am back to reality - I don't know what our mission is and why we are sending our young men and women out to fight. I need something to grab onto, to believe, to justify, to pacify my mind and heart. I wonder sometimes if I am "bad" for thinking this way, after all I am proud of my son and his choice to serve his country and I cannot feel what my son feels or his fellow peers in the military. I do know that I LOVE HIM with all of my heart and soul. I do know that I will try my best to send forward my positive thoughts and my prayers. And I pray that our Commander and Chief, Mr. President, remembers that my boy is out there fighting for us (one day it might be one of his children fighting for our country).

I love you Zach.