You left even though it was so hard to let you go. It seems unreal that you are a man. Not my chubby 2-year-old yelling for more “milkie”– but a man. A 22-year-old man. You were always here. Answering my every call. When I come home from work, I can always count on your company. Your constant presence.
Yet there was a time I wondered. If you would be 40. Still living in my basement. I worried that you would not find your way. I felt anguished that you may follow in that stranger’s footsteps. Coming to nought.
The missed opportunities. The failed attempts. All led to this moment.
The moment you found what you were looking for. Your calling. To serve your country. To serve your fellow human. The moment you came alive.
But let’s get back to me.
I miss you.
It’s been five days, maybe the longest we have ever been apart. You disappeared into the arms of Uncle Sam. And he is reluctant to let you go. Even to call mom.
But I will write. Every day I’ll write. Because you deserve to hear how much I love you. You need to know I care. Moreover, you need to know you can do it.
You are strong. You are determined. You are a soldier.
Serving your country is no joke. So you ceased to be a clown. When you decided. The National Guard would be your path.
I hope they know that you are precious. That you are loved. That you are missed.
Still. I’m proud to know that you answered yes. That you see others as needing you.
You are my son. I’m proud of you. Always was. Always will.
Private, I love you.