I feel compelled to use this title since this past Mother’s Day, May 11, 2008 was a day that bowled me over with emotions, both good and bad. It was, without a doubt the most extraordinary Mother’s Day of my life and I felt validated as the mother of these two fine young sons of mine like never before. Validated and loved.
David, my husband and I went up north to visit them before my elder son returns to duty with the Marines. He will return to Iraq later this summer with a Marine Reserve Unit out of New York. On the one hand, I am destroyed that he has to go back and tears are always close to the surface when I think about it. On the other hand, I take solace in the fact he’s going there with fellow Marines he already knows and trust.
The weekend’s lows were the thoughts that crept in unasked into my mind like “Will he come back alive?” and “Will this be the last time I get a hug from my son? … the last time I hear his laugh, the last time I see his beautiful face?” I know I can’t allow these thoughts in; can’t permit these feelings to invade and take over my life, but I can’t help it, and I have to wonder: “Is it healthier to completely deny them?”
I take my role as Kris’s and Pete’s Mom very seriously. Always have. I left their dad when they were 5 and 2 and I never looked back, raising the boys alone for several years, even using food stamps and accepting a church charity basket one Easter to get us through. I endured the self-pity, humiliation, resentment, and misery at times, but it was always replaced by the onset of brother-love that I witnessed more often than not which made me happier than anything on earth. Knowing these two young souls were mine to raise and nurture was an awesome responsibility. And I took it very seriously.
I hope I have fostered in them the ability to always love one another and share confidences, look out for and support one another. Despite the occasional bickering, competition, and finger-pointing, I do see evidence that I succeeded. I consider them my greatest accomplishment in life.
They aren’t always angels. At times, they can be a source of eyerolls and heartaches, but they are mine. Sons, with giant-sized charismatic personalities and beautiful, generous spirits, both. And, yeah, they’ve validated my life like nothing else. David, my husband, who I married when the boys were 8 and 5, is my partner in life and my best friend. I wouldn’t want to live without him, and half the time couldn’t function without him…But the boys? They validate me.