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He's Home!!!

Updated on December 17, 2012

The Call

I'm sleeping soundly when the phone rings. I see it is only 4:30 in the morning and when I answer, I hear my son's voice saying, "Mom, I'm coming home." That news would have made any mother happy, but even more so for me because that call was coming from "the sandbox" - Afghanistan. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. The call was so brief but spoke volumes. Needless to say, I did not go back to sleep.

The wait was only going to be about a week but it was going to seem like an eternity and my faith was going to be sorely tested. I was going to experience a fear I had never known before and literally prayed without ceasing to help me fight it. God was about to boost my trust in him up a few notches.

Loading up the truck.
Loading up the truck.
In the bus doorway.
In the bus doorway.

Saying "Good Bye"

I didn't sleep at all the night before he left. Driving to the base at Twenty-nine Palms before sunrise my heart was heavy. I was feeling the anguish any mother would have knowing her child-although grown-was leaving, heading into harm's way and the possibility that I may never see him again. I fought back tears and managed to swallow the lump in my throat by the time I arrived.

It was a kind of surreal experience being with all the guys before they left. They all seemed in good spirits and anxious to go - more like going to camp rather than into combat in a foreign land. I wondered how many of those young men would return.


Biggest Fear

When I knew he was coming home, my biggest fear was that he wouldn't make it; that I would hear my doorbell ring and see the uniforms when I opened the door. This was because three of my friends had their sons die just before coming home. And, I had read that so many of our troops die close to their home coming.

As I waited I felt I was in a dream. I didn't talk much and was extremely focused on whatever I was doing. I watched television without really seeing whatever show was on. I went about my daily routines more like a robot than human. I replayed every moment with my son from his birth to the moment he got on the bus to go. Funny how many things you can remember.

I had to make a conscious decision to belay my fear-command it to stop. I had asked God to protect my son and keep him safe and I had to trust him to do so. But it was so hard sometimes.

Best Hug E.V.E.R.

"I'm home safe Mom," was the text I got at 11:44 a.m. on the morning he arrived. Needless to say, I have saved it on my phone.

It was a few days before I got to see him but when I did, it was amazing. He looked wonderful and it was like he had never left. Only I know that he did leave and even though he looks the same, he is not the same young man who left. He couldn't possibly be. He is forever changed. Even though he hasn't talked yet, I know what he went through was horrendous.

My heart goes out to those whose loved ones have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We need to take a long, hard look at the conflicts we become involved in. Are we being told the truth? Is it in our best interest? There are just some things no man can fix. We cannot continue to lose our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and mothers and fathers for the political agenda and greed of a few.

So I hold him close now while I can, because I don't know when or if he may have to go back. If he does, I will again trust God to bring him home.

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    • Sylvia's Thoughts profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Peebles 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you so much, ahorseback!

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      5 years ago

      This story reminds me so much of another war , another time , another Marine and the awesome power of a moms love for her son ! You are so fortunate to have him home .......now the hard part , hold him until all his terrible memories of war end , make him a promise that PTSD , or any other personal ailments of our patriots are squeesed from his body ,heart and mind ! For he is the best of us all ! A patriot ,A hero ! I have a soft spot for all veterans , they are the best ! Awesome hub MOM!.........Ed

    • Sylvia's Thoughts profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Peebles 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you, Amy! I have had to share that sorrow with three of my friends. I can't even begin to describe the heartache. I want them all out of that hell hole!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      What a wonderful Christmas gift, both for you and your son, Sylvia. I see too many anguished families on the local news, close to an anticipated homecoming, devastated by the worst news possible. It does my heart good to hear that your son returned, changed, nevertheless, whole. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sylvia.

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