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What do you say in a moment like that?

   I've never been the quiet type. Just ask any of my former teachers. I was the kid who could never shut up. My mom swears I started speaking in full sentences by the time I was 9 months old, and she has spent the last 40, er, hmmm.. 30+ years trying to get me to STOP talking. 

    I talk for a living. To seven year olds, which leads to interesting conversations, but it's talking nonetheless. I'm pretty sure I got the gift of gab from my late father, who, bless his soul, never met a stranger. He would embarrass the daylights out of me approaching total strangers and striking up the most random conversations. At the time I thought it was a curse....his ability to talk all the I miss those days and would give anything to just sit and listen to one of his random conversations.

    There are not many times that I have ever been rendered speechless in my life. As a matter of fact, none that I recall....that is, until I got drafted in this life of Marine Mom. This last year has rendered a few times that I have searched for and not been able to find the words. 

   The first time was when I saw my Marine for the first time on Family Day. He was so skinny and looked so different I remember actually gasping for air at the sight of him. I'm a momma.....a SOUTHERN momma at that....we southern girls like to make sure if you do nothing else, you EAT! So, I can't even tell you how horrified I was to see him that first time. Luckily, I think God struck me dumb and numb so I would actually shut up and listen! And listen, I did. My son who hardly had a handful of words to say about ANYTHING his entire life was one nonstop story after another about his adventures in becoming a Marine. Those days of listening to him were priceless....forever burned in my memory! 

   The most recent time I failed to find words was the last time I picked my then stateside stationed Marine up from the airport. He had just lost a Marine brother that week. Still trying to wrap his head around it all, he managed to give me every detail.....the things nightmares are made of...and again, I failed to find any words. What do you say in a moment like that? Nothing. You just listen.

    Now on the eve of him leaving for deployment, I am lacking for words. So much I want to say....but the lump in my throat and the tears that threaten to flow down my face in a never ending pool won't let the words come. For the first time in years, I see him tear up too. But, being stronger than I am, he manages to get his words out. " Thanks for everything mom. Especially just being there to listen. It helped a lot." 

      And so, finally, I appreciate the silence that is between us...because what the mouth can't utter, the heart can. Besides, what do you say in moment like this?

" I love you" seems to suffice.

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Comment by Joyce on November 22, 2013 at 10:16pm

Beautifully rendered. Sometimes silences speak volumes. A safe time for your son and all headed for deployment.

Comment by Glenda M on November 10, 2013 at 2:20pm
I don't think I've ever heard anyone other than myself, put those words(feelings/emotions/traditions/ traits) than you just did!! My God we must have been sisters in another life or switched at birth!!:) Although I just made a
'Smiley face' just now, my heart is just torn to pieces for you as well as your son...that had to be hard for him to do because Marines, well, they're just too 'tough' to ever show hurt,or fear right? WRONG! Those are our BOYS!! And yet they are men now...when did that happen,right? God bless you for sharing this story with us and God bless your son,too! And thank God for him,my son(also a Marine!)& all of our young men & women who, although in our hearts and minds will ALWAYS BE OUR KIDS, thank God for them! And all of the parents who support and love them BEYOND measure...God bless the Corps!! But also all of our military for without them & their courage,honor,commitment AND love of and for our country,if not for every single one of them,we wouldn't enjoy the things that some take for granted...See?? I can't stop talking either!!(Sis)LOL!! I'm kidding!! Thanks again for this story. I truly loved it! And I SOOO remember seeing my son for the 1st time after boot
& he was very skinny!! And I thought,"I wonder what he's gonna want to eat tonight?" EVERYTHING was the answer he gave me when I asked!! And everything he got!!! And I loved every minute preparing that meal,more than any other I'd ever fixed before!! And wow can they eat!! Bless his heart though, he practically MADE me let him clean up afterwards...with his sisters' help of course! He wouldn't hush til I said okay finally! Anyway,okay I'm done!!
Semper Fi
Comment by raisedhimright on November 7, 2013 at 9:40am

Beautifully put!

Comment by Proud Marine Mom on October 23, 2013 at 10:20am
Bless you my friend. The story you just shared with us, I believe has us all in tears. I think we all can relate to it. The tears we hold back, and the many goodbyes we say. God has allowed us the privilidge of being the Parents to our children. No greater gift than that. Some people never get to experience that joy. Our Marine has showed me so much strength and thankfulness, and a closeness to the one above, and now having another Son at bootcamp, makes me know that God is in full charge of his life. I thank you so much for sharing your story. Absolutely Beautiful. Hugs to you.
Comment by ProudTexasMom_2103 on October 22, 2013 at 4:42pm

My eyes are leaking again! Have not experienced a deployment yet but I know it will come.  And when it does, I will draw from the advice, experiences, and wisdom I have gathered from the MoMs before me and on this site.  I think "I love you" was absolutely appropriate and I will remember that when my time comes.  Thank you from a fellow Southern Mom.

Comment by 1~ucme (Laura), VPMM & Volunteer on October 22, 2013 at 12:56pm

Each deployment I could only bring myself to say "I'll see you soon and love you with all my heart.", then held the tears (sometimes for hours) until after those buses pulled away because that's what he needed me to do!  Marine families are strong because that's what they need from us.  Thank God for this site when we need others to draw our strength from!

Comment by zookeeper on October 21, 2013 at 11:04pm

I have been on this journey 3 years + and the thing I learned from all of this was how to listen. Wait when I wanted to talk, wait for my son to open up and talk. And the while he talked, listen for what he wanted from me and then talk. Marines learn, or are taught to revel only what is needed. It is those special calls that start with

"hey mom" that you know stuff is coming. Those are the talks that mean I need to share or vent, and we just listen and and do what we do best....Be mom

Comment by Pamela on October 21, 2013 at 9:20pm

I can't speak anymore either!  In fact, I'm paralized with fear & panic.  The house feels too quiet, like there's been a death in the family.  Yet, I'm so in love with the man he has become & I'm overcome with pride.  God Bless your Marine & all of our Marines as they begin their next "adventure".

Semper Fi

Comment by camo1smom on October 21, 2013 at 9:17pm

First and foremost may my prayers for safety follow him wherever he may go and I are also a like. I always obsorb all  kinds of things and my family and co-workers when asked a question they can't answer they almost always say I think I may have someone with the answer. I tell great stories and it always did me well when having to talk to my boys about tough subjects.  The gift to gab has also made me who I am today and gave me the success in providing for my children. This is also the first of our family to take this journey into the Military. I to was searching words of wisdom when my son left. I thought I could show him how to handle this goodbye well see you soon conversation.....For the first time my son and I stood eye to eye Me 6foot and he almost 6foot 5. THEN THE STARE DOWN HAPPENED. It felt like time had stopped. We said so much with saying nothing at all.  I barely got this out of the lump in my throat.  "well, I love you and I know your going to do amazing." I tried to hold back the tears but his alligator tear came down his face.....I knew he was scared but acting so hard as boys do...trying to show me he was a man...the hug showed it all we wanted to say. Your story is so true...I am happy to pass the torch of my son of few words into endless stories about his new journey.

@WHATTS MOM I say welcome to the journey :) and we all are here to lend that ear when ever you need it.


Take care all,


Comment by WYATT'S MOM on October 21, 2013 at 10:21am

All I can say is many thanks and a huge hug for those frayed Mama nerves...  I certainly see that I will lean on this page for the courage and strength to get through!  Not coming from a military family, this is all new and so scary ~ as only another Mom will know.

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