Saturday, February 27, 2010

Welcome Home

My bio says I am a mother to five children. Has anyone noticed that I have only shared pictures of four? My oldest daughter, Jessica is in the Army National Guard. She has been away in South Carolina completing her AIT (Advanced Individual Training) for four and a half months and arrived home this morning. In this picture (which is not the best taken photo, I admit-- but it obviously means a lot to me!) Jenna was incredibly excited to go to the airport to gather up her oldest sister.

Jaye (as I have called her for most of her life) is almost nineteen. We were chatting on the computer last night I called her a Leaf....I am the Tree and she is an image of me but better---and worse. She has not fallen far from the ole' Tree. She is an incredible young woman!

Our relationship has been a struggle. We are both very strong willed and it has made for challenging times. But as any mother can attest to, the love for your child runs so deeply that often words cannot express. This is a fault I have: sharing how much I love my children to my children. Especially to Jaye. But fortunately our relationship has healed in different stages.

Last year I flew to SC to watch Jaye graduate from boot camp. I became a changed woman and mother before I even made it to her. Each flight, each stop...resulted in building a better Me. The day she graduated I sat amongst thousands of other proud family members and waited to locate "my soldier" after the commencement. I struggled to find her and panicked like any mother who had lost their toddler in a shopping mall. Once I found her there wasn't anything that I could do to hold back my tears as I held her. Feeling such love and the deepest pride for my daughter.This was healing Stage One. That trip changed me forever.

The next year had its ups and downs but something has changed further in each of us. In a blink of an eye we entered and passed Stage Two. I love this young woman. I am proud of my soldier, my daughter, my friend.

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