"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."

Henry Ellis

August 28, 2007

Flak Jacket

The Kid called last night to let me know how his first day of QCT(Qualified Crewman training) went. He was excited, but nervous. He talked about all the cool gear they had received. The minute he started talking about the numerous Flak Jackets he received, I felt the heart start beating faster and I really couldn't think. He went on telling me how he had to swim in them, buddy tow, etc.. I really had a hard time listening. This invoked the dreaded fear and it took everything I had to not breakdown on the phone. When we hung up I broke down, needless to say no sleep for this Mom. How can something that can save his live, bring out my worst fears. I need to work on this, because I will not let this consume me or have it spill over on to The Kid. Well hopefully writing about it will be a release of sorts. Need to gets some caffeine and try and get through the day..


Bag Blog said...

When Jesse was two years old, she had to have 3 little stitches near her eye. I cried more than she did and wondered how I was going to be able to make it through the next 18 years of her life. A few years later, I heard Barbara Johnson of Spatula Ministries speak at a women's retreat. She had four sons and lost one in Vietnam and another one in a car wreck. How could she even go on living? It was a real eye opener for me. I came to the realization that our children are not really ours. It is like they are only loaned to us to raise the best we can and then they are their own or they are God's. I know I would be devistated if anything happened to any of my children, grandchildren, etc, but life is what it is and I cannot control it. My hope is not in myself. I can only control how I personally manage my life and how I present that to my kids. I say all of that, but my son is not preparing for war. I do feel for you and will pray for your peace and his safety.

Shelly said...

Bag Blog,
Thanks for the insight.. I know that I did a good job with him and he is a grown man who is responsible for himself.. Just hard to let go.. I just keep breathing..


Buck Pennington said...

Good words and a brilliant set of thoughts, Lou. I've never quite heard the relationship between life and kids put quite this way, but it IS true.

I think it's MUCH different for Moms than it is for Dads. While I have had my "moments," especially when SN1 was off to Gulf War I and there were thoughts/rumors of WMDs in the air, I don't think those moments even come close to what a mother feels. Why is it different? Dunno. It just IS.

I wish you peace, Shelly. Your son is doing what he wants and needs to do... and he needs your support. (But I'm sure you know that.)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I commented on an earlier entry. Funny how our lives seem to be on the same track right now. During a conversation with my Marine son last week, he was all excited about receiving their new flak jackets! They are preparing to deploy to Iraq in Oct. As he is talking about how heavy they are and all the new areas that are protected, inside I am freaking out! Each time we talk, I get to hear about all the training, and prep they are doing. I cry after each and every phone call! I'm not sure how I am going to get through the next 8 months, but I guess I have no choice.

It's nice to come to your blog, and just know I am not the only one.

Shelly said...


Thanks for stopping by again.. It is funny how we seem to be dealing with the same things. I started blogging so I could find others that are going through the same things I am.

Stay strong and let me know how your Marine is doing..You are not alone...


A soldier's wife..... said...


I know it's hard. I can't quite relate to the mother feeling, but when I talk to my husband and he says he just took his IBA off from being out on the road, my heart skips a beat. It does not matter that I know this is his job and that he has trained his whole life for it, just knowing that only that jacket is what stands between him and heaven fills me with the most fear I've ever felt in my life.

Nothing you ever go through ever prepares you for that, nor will you ever stop feeling it, but I guess I have to say, I have accepted it as part of our life.....but not part that I like.

My thoughts are with both you and the anonymous poster. I feel your fear and anxiety. But it will be okay, you do find ways in which to survive it, you have to...it's part of who we become by loving our Nation's heroes.