Monday, May 5, 2008

Sweet Memories

I want to remember last Sunday. James’ last Sunday. Pastor asked James to come to the podium and explain where he was going, so James gave his list of places he goes this summer. Sounds like the Army is jerking him around, but he has it down pat. And yet, he is torn as to how much detail folks want.

James was not much ready to say good-bye because he knows he’ll be back for visits. He does not realize it, but folks will want a report then. And he may get tired of telling things, but we cannot depend on our press to get military stuff correct. And folks are grateful that men like James are purchasing our freedom on a daily basis. Soldiers in training don’t always feel like they are making a sacrifice having not seen battle nor the monotony of the in-between times. But, the training is what soldiers do 90 percent of the time. It gets them ready and keeps them sharp.

I think it kind of hit James that he was looking at a big change coming in his life. We have been counting down at home for months. Ever since last year’s commissioning ceremony, we have seen this day coming. And what with finals, and plans to accommodate friends and relatives for commissioning, we are sighing to the last time we ……………. This time next week, commissioning and graduation will be over, and James will be waiting for official grades and final paperwork and then he is off.

Little things occupy our time, like getting the correct patches on the uniform. Turning in old rotc uniforms. My little sewing ripper has gotten quite a workout. One patch came off okay, but we found a glue mess under another, so we took it by the cleaners for them to solve or dissolve. The Army green formal uniform is just for parties, dances, commissioning ceremonies, and reporting in. Camo is worn for everyday. And the camo diggies (ACUs) have myriads of pockets on the arms so that things can be stashed and accessed while wearing armor. Mr. Soon-to-be 2LT left a black pen in his brand new diggies. I bought the special “all” detergent without brighteners but no amount of detergent conquers black pens. I turned to my trusty JOY and got most of it out. Yikes. Our youngest used to leave black pens in his pockets all the time. These Army uniforms are not cheap. $85 for one piece. I don’t know if I even own an $85 pair of pants. I don’t think I own an $85 blouse, either!

One final down. Two to go. Then commissioning practice, and relatives start arriving. But, I want to remember Sunday, when Pastor asked Brother Ivan to come forward and pray for this man headed off to war. This man. Brother Ivan lost his wife of sixty years not too long ago. Brother Ivan included the family, and our firstborn in the Airforce. We will miss next Sunday, the Mother’s Day carnations and exhortations because UTA scheduled James’ graduation for noon.

And maybe the necessary patch James ordered will make it before Saturday so I can sew on one more last time.


Bob said...

Ivan and Sis's 60th would have been this coming June 15th. He made past her birthday and was able to keep his composure. Ivan's prayer for James brought a tear to my eye. It's so humbling to have someone who carries his own burden so well praying for you.

jennifer said...

Joyce, you are so matter of fact about the changes that your family is facing. I can see military wife all over you. You are accustomed to living with a warrior, a protector, and seeing you son take the next step seems natural for the military wife/mother.

I pray for "her" continued strength, and I pray for just Joyce the Mom too. The lady who read stories, kissed boo boos, said good night prayers with, loved and nurtured a little boy...... who just HAD to go off and grow up.

I am thankful to James for answering the call to duty and service to our country. I pray that God prospers him in this phase of his life and that he hedges about in him protection.

Blessings to you and Bob,


buffi said...

Is he up here near us? Seems like I remember Bob saying something about that....or maybe not. If he is, we will have to have him over for a home cooked meal. I've taken care of lots of butterbars over the years!