Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saving My History

What an interesting, fun filled two weeks this has been. This post may make no sense but i'm not really writing this one for my readers. This one i'm writing for my own memories, you know, someday I may write a book and be like "hey I wish I could remember all the details of those two weeks". Yeah. Maybe.

My Mom came out to visit, she got lost in Mankato so I knew she would never make it to my actual house since you have to get off the main road and all. I was chatting with her on the phone asking her if she was coming down the hill yet when her phone went dead. The last thing I told her was that I was going up to the farm road to wait for her. I am sitting at the road waiting for her and there goes her car zooming by. I whip out, do some fancy driving to get behind them and start flashing my lights. I finally get them behind them and lead them to my house. I asked what they would have done if I hadn't found them. My nephew says keep driving until they saw a sign that said old farm road. I think they may have ended up in Canada before they found that road.

There is nothing like having your Mom come to your house and cook for you. She made my absolute favorite poor mans food, potato soup and dumplings then we made home made creamed corn. Yummy! She and Sky then made a bunch of loaves of zucchini bread for Shawn. Not my cup of tea but the kids liked it.

I took her and Bryon (nephew) to Minnesota's tourist trap also known as the Mall of America to do some school shopping for the kids. We shopped and shopped some more. Bry and Matt headed off on their own to do some looking around while the girls all headed to American Girl doll factory. The girls have wanted one of those dolls for ever and ever. I wanted one when I was a little girl. We walked around for ages (maybe 30 minutes) picking out their favorites. I walked over to Sky's favorite doll, picked her up off the shelf and handed Skylee the box. Her eyes got big, she squealed, got tears in her eyes and hugged me for all she was worth. Seeing her so happy of course made me get teary. It was an awesome mother/daughter moment. Hannah picked out her favorite, I cut off my arm and handed it over to the sales clerk and we were out the door to find the boys. I called and they said they were on the third floor at Journies. We were on the first floor so we located the escalators and up we went. We walked around a bit looking for the store when I decided to stop in my tracks and look down three floors. There sat Matthew on the first floor in the Journies store. Not 20 feet from where we were before we went up those 3 floors. I had a blast hollering his name and watching him look around trying to figure out where I was.

August 20th was family day at Fort Leonard Wood for the families of the young men and women graduating from basic training. We left Wednesday afternoon (the day before) on our million hour journey through Minnesota, Iowa and most of Missouri. It was long and rainy and tiring. Did I mention I hate riding in a car? Spent the night in Columbia before making our way to the base. Did I mention I had to drive through the Ozarks? They are beautiful but come on! Hills and curves. Yuck.
Arrived in the nearby town where we were staying to meet up with Shawn's parents before heading to the base. Lots of fun stuff happened there, like Shawn's step dad forgot to take his pistol out from under his seat before he left Tennessee and trying to find a place to put it before we went on base since no one could check into their hotel rooms that early.
We made it finally. On to the base and figuring out where to find our kids since the Army gave absolutely no details about the entire visit beyond the dates. Found the theater we were supposed to go to. Here I am thinking I would walk in, see my kid and that would be that. Wrong answer. We had to sit through and entire briefing, a military briefing. They are not short. The commander made jokes, I fidgeted and couldn't concentrate on anything more that seeing my kid already. Finally they wrap it up, tell us our kids will march up in front of the building, stand in formation then be released to us for the day. OMG! Finally they start coming around the corner and I just about lost my shit. One of those boys was mine. I was going to get my boy very soon. I couldn't handle it. The march in was mesmerizing. I have never actually seen a military march with cadence in real life and I was blown away. They were so disciplined and sharp. Maybe my boy wasn't in there after all. Finally they entered the parking lot, stood in formation. Forever. I think the drill sargents were torturing them. Like hey your mom is here but you can't go to her because we own your ass. Well they don't own my ass. Give me my damned kid already. You hear me mister man with the funny hat on? Finally they released them and I got my hands on him. I hugged that kid like I haven't since the day he was born. Finally he whispered in my ear something about okay Mom, that's enough. I let go, couldn't hog him to myself. He hugged everyone and we were off for family fun.
We went out for lunch and that kid didn't stop talking the entire time. I'm not even sure how he ate through all the talking. He told us all the details of his 10 week stay. I mean in detail. At one point he was talking, I looked over at him and saw this baby in a blue sweater jumper with a helicopter on the front in tiny white baby booties and had to wipe back a few tears. How did we get from this itty bitty baby to this well disciplined man? What happened to the years in between? Don't blink.
He took us to the Ft. Leonard Wood museum and to the px and the mini mall. We saw all the sites to see and went to dinner. On the drive there we saw a huge 5 vehicle crash on the interstate below us. It was awful and I don't know how anyone lived through it. 2 small cars went under a semi trailer. It was horrible looking. I was obsessed with finding information about those involved so when we got back I googled and found that although a teacher was seriously injured no one had died. I keep checking back to see if he pulled through, no news and I hope no news is good news. Anyway, ate dinner and met up with Jason (Shawn's so called father) before taking him back to base. The kid did not take any time off from his duties, he wrote the fire watch schedule on the ride back to the base. Good soldier.
I'm not really even sure I can properly convey what I felt the following day at graduation but I will try. We arrived at the theater (after getting lost) and waited in line for ages before the doors open. We ended up with awesome seats. We were on the aisle the boys walked down after getting pinned. Anyway, lots of speeches, the commander fumbling his entire speech then a really cool video of pics and video of the boys throughout their entire training, awards which made my heart burst right open with pride. There still may be pieces of blood, heart muscle and pride left in that auditorium. Not many of the boys won awards and my soldier won two!! Then came the soldiers creed and what was left of my heart entirely exploded from the pride, just a few soldiers were chosen and my son was so loud and serious I didn't even recognize his voice!! Oh I forgot to tell about the soldiers marching into the auditorium. It was amazing the drill sargents voice was so melodic and hypnotizing and all those soldiers voices in unison as one was captivating to say the least. I will never ever forget that moment watching their precise movements and hearing all those voices as one. The kids were all pinned with their US pin and shook the hands of all the higher ups and then were dismissed. I got my kid back!! I am telling you all those two days were the proudest days of my entire life for many reasons but to look at the kid I sent off to basic training in early June and see the man he turned into was amazing and I don't think I will ever forget the moment I stopped viewing him as a little boy. He went back to Wyoming with Grandma for a visit and called to let me know he got a tatoo. I was not in the least bit upset by that. He is a man now, he can make those decisions for himself. 3 months ago I wouldn't have though that way.
The drive back from Missouri was long but had Shawn drive for half the trip and took a few cat naps to shorten things up.
Sunday was Shawn's family reunion. I don't like going to those things at all because I only know a few people but it was fun to show the boy (he will always be my boy) off.
Monday, Mom, Bry and Ed left for Wyoming and Monday night my stupid fucking brother announced he left his family behind. I am pissed, beyond pissed at him, not because he split with his girl but because I am scared shitless that he walked out on his son and I will never see him again. I love my niece and nephews and always want to be a part of their lives.
Tuesday I started back to school. Yay! I love school.
Today I went to the doctor about my anxiety issues. The normal person has an anxiety level of less than 10 of 110 on a scale. A person with an 80 has severe anxiety. My score was a 99. I am a damned wreck. That really bothers me because I am happier than I have been in years. My marriage is mostly good, my son who has caused me so many headaches is growing up to be a fine young man, the little kids are doing well and I am in school studying a subject I love. I am genuinely happy so why am I having so much anxiety? I can't wait until it's all under control.
Did anyone make it through all that?


Cat August 27, 2009 at 8:23 AM  

I did! I'm still here! Ok, so first of all, WTF happened with your brother and his wife, and what exactly does "leave his family behind" mean? Second of all, what kind of tat did the kiddo get?

He looks so handsome and grown up in your still shots. I haven't been online at home (with speakers) to watch the videos yet, but tonight! I'm so proud of him myself, with to stake or claim to him, that I can't imagine how you must be feeling. Amazing kid (man)!

njerzgal August 29, 2009 at 1:28 AM  

congrats to Shawn/Ed on a job well done!! Your heart about comes out of your chest when you see them for the first time. I remember!!
Send pics of his tat when you see him again.
Sorry about the bro thing. That stinks.
Glad everything is going well. Maybe it's all the pent up emotion from when things weren't so keen?
Hope you're feeling better soon.

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