So far, no surprises

Supporting those who fight for our Flag, Motherhood and Apple PieI guess I’ve entered a different phase.  I have no idea how many phases there may be to this deployment thing, so I’ll call this Phase Two of Two, or P2/2 for short. It’s starting to feel almost normal to have a son in Afghanistan.  It’s not shocking to hear myself say the words out loud. I don’t get a hitch in my throat anymore when I tell someone he’s there.  I don’t “freeze” when the tv news announces upcoming footage from Afghanistan. So far, there have been no surprises. So far, we’re all doing really well.  This feels like real progress.  It feels good. 

Even though it’s just a perception, I feel more in control because I’ve established a routine. Maybe this type of routine would help other moms, too:

First thing in the morning, I open gmail to see if there’s any direct communication from my son. 

Next I check Facebook – to see both the nation building and combat incidents the US Forces Afghanistan (USFORA) and the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) have officially posted. Most of the time, the USFORA covers what’s going on from a NATO/ISAF perspective, but just to be sure, I check at  http://www.nato.int/isaf/pressreleases/2009/.  Then on to Twitter – to see if I’ve missed any “hot issue”  that the military community is tweeting about.  (http://twitter.com  #USAF, #Army @Milblogging, and many others).

In the middle of the day, I check my gmail to see if there’s an email from him. He typically sends updates at the end of his day – which is about mid-morning here. If I wait until close to lunch, Central Standard Time, I’ll see anything he’ll send. If he sent something.

At the end of the day,  I repeat the morning process, in reverse order. 

It dawned on me this week-end that once my son comes home, his service isn’t over.  And that means it’s entirely possible he may volunteer to go back. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he does. Knowing that – and not being surprised, that’s a good thing, too.

About a month ago, my husband and I saw a huge double  rainbow, full from end to end, over the Mississippi River and our neighborhood.  It caught us by surprise. It was breathtakingly beautiful – each band of color was wide, distinct, vibrant. I hadn’t seen such an amazing double rainbow since 1988  – the day of my brother’s wedding.

God's Promises are Real

God's Promises are Real

While the rainbows themselves were a surprise, the message of the rainbow hasn’t changed in millenuium, since Noah: it was a strong visual reminder  to trust God’s promises, to have strength and hope in his unending love, and to rest in His merciful reassurances.

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