or someplace else equally small. It's not that I feel worse because she hates it or is living in awful conditions. The above picture is her only living space (the only thing not shown is the small closet behind her that she shares with her roommate). She seems do be doing pretty well. She gets up at 4am and makes her phone calls, then goes walking/jogging, breakfast, then work is from 7:30 to 8:30 at night. She kinda gets Sundays off (she has to be at work at 6pm) and she says the laundry service and food are really good. She will also primarily be working in an office, which is great news. But in how she talks to me, I know that it is hard on her. She tries so hard to cover it up (and she is really good at it too). For the most part, I've never seen my mom struggling with something. I think the hardest thing is not being able to do hardly anything to help her.
I realized recently that when I can talk about something, especially in public settings, I've come to accept it, at least subliminally (in some way). This past week I've been openly talking about my mom and every time I do it scares me. I know practically no one knows that my mom is deployed right now (because I haven't told them), but I bring up the subject like they do. The looks on their faces is odd to me. It may be because they just weren't aware and they don't want to look like they missed something, but the look suggests something else, kinda like, "I have no idea what to say". It's hard to see those looks.
I've been surrounded with everything military my whole life. I was born on an Army base in California to 2 parents both in the Army, and I've lived next to Fort Bragg, NC (the largest base in the world by population) for 15 years. My family tree is full of war vets and my grandpa was a POW in WWII. I've grown up with military kids who had active and deployed parents, I worked 2 summers as a lifeguard at pools for the on-base families, and I've experienced war-time deaths, one being the father of an old friend and the second a classmate. Even still, I entered AFROTC and heard all kinds of semi-terrifying stories from the officers who have been deployed. All of this and it still only slightly prepares you for the reality of your own mother being in a war-zone.
Maybe it's the fact that I know too much. I hear stories from friends that have been deployed, sometimes multiple times, about how they were shot at or how they almost froze one night. My mom also told me about some of her training. If she is traveling in an armored humvee, and it rolls into a drainage ditch (which she explained to me is very easy to do), rescuers have about 2 minutes to pull them out before they all drown (this is how Steven Elrod, a fellow high school student, died). Maybe it's because I know too little. I can't really imagine exactly how it is, and therefore how safe it is. But either way, I can't think about it. Every time I do I become overwhelmed with sadness about what could happen. I haven't had much time to think about it lately because I've been so busy, but whenever I'm alone, it's one of the first things I think of.
A daily meditation book (with Pope Benedict’s writings) has given me some comfort.
God brings Abraham out from among his family and sets him on a certain path. When it comes down to it, everyone has to undergo his own exodus. He… has to come out of his own reserved self. ... only then will he reach the Promised Land, so to speak - the sphere of freedom, in which he plays his part in creation.I guess this is like my mom’s exodus. I really can’t do anything to intervene (even if I wanted to). I guess we’ll see what happens next.
Please pray for those I know who are entering the military or who are deployed right now:
Mary Yusckat (my mom) - Iraq
David Laes (my cousin) - Iraq
Grant Mattocks - Iraq
Shawn Nguyen - Afghanistan
"Nick" - Afghanistan
David Kavin - Afghanistan
Khristopher Alexander - Afghanistan (within the next week)
Curtis Elliot Jr. - AF Basic Training (within the week)
Samuel Culotta - finishing Army Basic Training
numerous friends at field training