Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tyro ~ In Unfamliar Territory

Pronunciation: \ˈtaɪrəʊ\
Function: noun
Etymology:Medieval Latin tr, squire, variant of Latin tr, recruit.
Date: 1587
 1. (a) : a beginner in learning something.(b): a novice 

When we lived in Arizona and all three kids were small, we had outside cats. One day Kate or Jared found a baby bird on the ground underneath the largest orange tree in the front yard. The mother bird was screeching and pecking at the cats who came near. Unfortunately we could not see the nest, and though feathered, this little one could not fly, only hop.

Thus began the week we saved the bird. In the day we placed the fledgling in a soft sided laundry basket and shoved it into the branches of the orange tree. The mother continued to feed him and fend off the cats. However, at night she returned to the nest. We would take the basket inside and cover it with a light blanket, only to return him to the tree at first light.  This went on for several days, until he finally flew to the nest on his own.

I don't know how to protect Jacob. He is set to fly, literally, off to war this night. To borrow a phrase from another mother, I did not raise my son to go to war. I do not know how to do this.

Thousands of mothers before did not know to do this. There is an ethereal quality to this journey ~ as though I am stepping into a stream of history and experience that is not unique ~ painfully, painfully, not unique.

There is much for me to learn. There are also old lessons of faith, mindfulness, gratitude, patience and community to remember.

I love you Jacob.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jargon - Fighting the Irrational Fears

Pronunciation: \ˈjär-gən, -ˌgän\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French jargun,
 Date: 14th century
 1. (a) : confused unintelligible language (b): a strange, outlandish, or barbarous language or dialect (c) : a hybrid language or dialect simplified in vocabulary and grammar and used for communication between peoples of different speech
 2. the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group
 3. obscure and often pretentious language marked by circumlocutions and long words

If you look up phobias ~ irrational fears ~ there are hundreds of officially recognized categories. Fear of clowns ~ Coulrophobia. Fear of being out of mobile phone contact ~ Nomophobia. Fear of phobias ~ Phobophobia.

However, no category for "Fear about son deploying to Middle East." There are, much to my discomfort, dozens of family support sites and organizations. Yet, I am not ready to jump in just yet.

So, I am turning to what I know. Jargon ~ Slogans ~ Self Talk ~ and writing blogs with miscellaneous defined words. First up is "mindfullnes." This practice of staying in the moment is a tool I will need to use as Jacob prepares to deploy on October 18th. Recovery folk might say "no future tripping," or "one day (one moment if necessary) at a time." Those given to quote the Bible may choose "do not worry about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of its own." 

I admit to using less effective tools as well. I've been calling Jacob just to hear his voice. I am getting a passport and have demanded that Kate and Jared do the same. I am talking to strangers ~ younger veterans in Starbucks.

This is not a journey I had planned for. I forbade my children to join the military. That didn't work out too well. I am not sure I can even attempt to plan now. 

So, for today, I think I am thankful for small pox and anthrax vaccinations (yes, just two of many he has been given this week). I am grateful for cell phones that let me speak to him. I am thankful he was able to visit this summer. 

When you see me if I am prone to irrational reactions to news from overseas or moments of tearfulness, please be patient and remind me to breathe. 

What Worked for Me Today Talking to Jacob and remembering that writing often helps. 

Blue Star Moms
On January 22, 1942 the Flint News Advertiser printed a coupon asking Mothers of serviceman to return the coupon after filling it out. The following February 1st 300 mothers met in the Durant Hotel, in Flint Michigan. Captain George H. Maines, who had conceived the idea for this group, acted as the chair of this first meeting. It was decided that after receiving 1000 responses from the ad to form a permanent organization.

On February 6th the organization was reported on Congressional record. Chapters then formed in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, California, Iowa and Washington. In June of 1960 the organization was chartered by congress. 

 Mothers volunteered throughout the tough times of World War II. They worked in hospitals, train stations, packed care packages for soldiers and were an working part of homeland security during times our time of war. The organization waned in size over the years but has held together by mothers showing pride in both their children and country. In recent times we have began to grow in strength. Being attacked on our own soil has once again started mothers hanging flags in their windows at home proclaiming pride in the fact that we have children protecting our freedom during at time of war Our organization not only provides support for active duty service personnel, promotes patriotism, assists Veterans organizations, and are available to assist in homeland volunteer efforts to help our country remain strong.