August 31, 2006

Two hours to Heartbreak

It is 10:00 p.m. in Frankfurt right now. In two hours, my 20 year old son will be on an airplane. He's flying into a war zone.

When I was 20 years old, I was invincible. I didn’t think I was invincible – I was actually invincible. I didn’t think anything bad would ever happen to me. I secretly hoped that tragedy would visit me so I could feel something, anything, out of the ordinary. I took risks. I invited danger. I lived on the edge. When I was 20 years old, I had a 3-year old son who was the light of my life and a brand new baby girl who was more beautiful than anything I could have imagined. But I was still only 20, (20!!) and still had romantic ideas about tragedy. I thought being a tragic figure would cement my place in everyone’s memory. Because Shakespeare and Poe didn’t write about ordinary people who stayed home and raised their children, whose highlight of the day was checking the mail or pureeing carrots for baby food; they wrote about Ophelias and Annabel Lees.

I am so afraid right now. I am not afraid that writing this will jinx anything – I believe just thinking it has that power to do that, or not, – but that my baby boy is going to work everyday in the desert with a machine gun in his hand and enemies that don’t want him there. I have long gotten over those romantic dreams that a tragedy should strike me and now I pray every day that none will. I know life is random. I know that pain and suffering does not discriminate. I can’t protect my child from seeing pain and suffering, possibly causing pain and suffering, or experiencing it himself.

He’s a man now; a Private First Class. I’ve raised him well and given him as much as I could possibly give him. I know he can survive in the ordinary world and that he’ll make good decisions and that he’ll be happy from time to time, as well as sad from time to time. I know that he is capable of doing anything he sets his mind to. But never have I wanted an ordinary, tragedy-free life for anybody as much as I do for us both right now.



At 15:11, Anonymous Betty said...

:( He's in my thoughts... you both are.

At 15:15, Blogger Richard said...

If you just step back, you know that his odds of injury or death, while not zero, are quite low. Of course, the rational, let's step back and have a look at this rationally, shall we? part of the brain is completely disengaged whenever our kids are involved.

I remember being young and immortal, feeling anticipation at the prospect of tragedy befalling me. Then I got married, had kids and all that changed. I suppose it is part of our psychological development. I know I cringe every time I was my boy (4, soon to be 5) ride his bike without the slightest awareness of any possible danger to himself.

Prayer is good and I will join you in praying for your son.

At 16:23, Blogger Dr. Brazen Hussy said...


At 16:50, Blogger Beth said...

Wow, what to say. I'm thinking of you and your son and keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that he'll be home soon!

At 19:53, Blogger my imperfect offering said...

I will keep you both in my prayers, Q. I think you would agree that you and I have both led semi-charmed kinds of lives (all things considered), so let's keep the faith that that will continue. Like the graceful feline, we always land on our feet (and so will our children). *hugs*

At 15:23, Blogger luckybuzz said...

Thinking of you both too, and sending lots of happy safety vibes and hugs.


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