I spent most of the morning on Mother's Day sewing Sprout's wings on...if only he would just stand still, it would be a lot easier.
No really...I was sewing them onto his fatigues. He's quite proud to have achieved the right to wear a badge and I say more power to him. But while I sat sewing (to strict Army regulations...1/4" above the patch that says US ARMY) it occurred to me that one day I might hold these uniforms close again, and remember this day, when I sewed on his wings, examining every stitch up close. Some day, these empty uniforms could be all I have. These thoughts creep in and out of your mind when your child is a soldier. You try to prepare yourself for that dreaded day, even thinking up the words you will say, how loud you will cry...if you cry, where the funeral will be held. You picture the sad look on the face of the soldier, who never meet your son, who stands before you with a perfectly folded flag. You lay in the dark and practice whispering "thank you, you're so kind" over and over again. You picture yourself as M'lynn in Steel Magnolias wanting to hit something, hard.
It's not the first time I've imagined a loved one dying. Shoot! I've killed off all my relatives and friends at one time or another and attended all of their funerals, even given a couple of eulogies. But truthfully, you can't prepare yourself no matter how long you practice. When it comes, it's like being hit upside the head with a two-by-four. No matter how much you expect it, you are never ready for it.
Which is why there is a God. And why would a loving God let us suffer so? I have found the answer: because "hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5