Thursday, November 29, 2007


Today Frank is 27. I called him after 6:45 p.m., when he was really 27 years old. Frank is our oldest son, and a 1LT in the National Guard. We are truly blessed and proud to call him our son. It has been a pleasure to watch him grow up to be the fine young man he is now. Yes, there were times when I wanted to ring his dear little neck but I let him survive to adulthood. There were times when I felt I just plain didn't know who this kid was standing in front of me, and there were times he was close to my heart.

The milestones have come and gone, and there will certainly be more.

The day he was finally born (he was almost a 10 month baby) was full of much needed joy. I was three months pregnant when my Dad died so having a baby was a gift of life for life. I remember seeing him for the first time and thought to myself, he doesn't have dark hair like David. Instead, here was this darling blond hair, blue eyed baby looking like he was ready to take on the world.

His first step at 10 months, his first word "bobby" at 9 months. His first doggie he called "nooker" and the cat he called "she she."

At 13 months Frank became big brother to John and he immediately adored him. I remember Frank standing at the playpen to just look at the baby sleeping and calling out "baby seep."

Frank's first day at school, going to kindergarten was a milestone for him. He was a big boy then. There were some difficult times in school for him, but he got through them and made us proud.

I chewed down all of my fingernails on Frank's first kayak trip about Lopez Island when he was 12. I spent the entire week with my rosary in my pocket. He came back a changed boy. He had grown up on that trip and had experienced another part of our world.

Frank went to wrestling camp only to break his leg. During the 6 weeks he was on crutches he grew three inches. I wondered if this was just a warning of what was to be of his wrestling career.

When Frank started high school it was a whole new world for all of us. He became the football player and wrestler. His last wrestling match his Senior year brought tears of relief to my eyes that his neck was still intact. It was a thrill to stand on the football field at his last game wearing his 70 pound letterman jacket.

Off to college Frank went and he was living "away from home." The nest was starting to empty out, giving us a whole year having John as an "only" child and enjoying the opportunity. Frank chose to go through ROTC to help pay for his college education. When he started in 1999 our world was at peace and our country didn't have wars to send our young soldiers to.

When Frank went to basic training in South Carolina, we all went down for his graduation in July (only for a son). Another proud moment. Hotter than hell, and the humidity was merciless, but worth it.

When Frank graduated from College and received his commission, we all knew he would be eventually going to Iraq. There were some bittersweet feelings that day.

The day Frank came up to Edgar's Acres and told us he was being deployed to Iraq was the day time stood still for me. I knew it was coming, but still wasn't prepared for the reality of it. I had to stop and think of how I was going to react. After all, I was now an officer's mother.

For one year I prayed all day for the safety of my son, and the soldiers under his command. Frank is the reason for sending stockings to the troops during the holidays.

The day he came back from Iraq was like a full circle for me. The flight was delayed, the plane was late, it was like waiting for a baby to be born. The moment I saw him walking down the concourse toward the waiting crowd was probably the biggest relief I have ever experienced, I lost 100 pounds off of my shoulders. I felt glued to the spot, only to be nudged on by David. I just can't describe how I felt, to see him home again. I did manage to keep my composure and act as an officer's mother should act.

Yes, that was probably the best day of our lives, for all of us.

I know it was for John, Frank's "little" brother.

I love this picture. These two brothers are thrilled to be back together again. Frank is on the left with the "desert" watch on. John is wearing the striped shirt. And no, they aren't twins.

Happy Birthday Frank. We all love you. Thank you for being who you are.

Mom xoxoxo

1 comment:

  1. Very well said Sue. Yes,son grow up and leave home to start on their new venture. Hopefully the parents/grandparents have led the way for the next generation to take over and make the necessary changes to make this a great country to live in.