Beloved Son, hearts around here are growing heavy as we wait for the news about deployment. Again. I had wondered if it would be any easier this time, having gone through it before, but the answer is clearly no. We’ve heard stories of war. Yet, that is not what is making my heart heavy; the truth is that every day I live and breathe, I love you more.
This time you leave behind a wife; a wife with a son who you love as your own. A wife who is carrying your child.
I keep this picture of you on my desk, the one from boot camp graduation. The one that bears witness to your becoming a man of honor, a man who in his weakest moment found his strength and calling. A man with the Sign of the Cross over his heart. Just as you were marked with the Sign of the Cross at your baptism. You belong to Him.
I do not think of the difficult years any more. You have become So Much More than I ever dared to pray for. You, Son, have changed me. You have made me a better person. You have reduced me to love. I know that our song has always been “Happy to Be Stuck With You”, dating back to the time when you were that colicky little baby, but over the past few years a new song has taken residency in my heart when I think of you, which is about a million times a day. For I would not change a thing.