Some days are burned into the public’s collective mind — JFK’s assassination, John Lennon’s murder, the space shuttle Challenger blowing up, and 9/11.
Other days are just your own family’s memory patterns — when you knew you found the one, your wedding day, the births of your children. My family had one of those days yesterday. Our son’s first letter home from boot camp.
Tim has never been away from home so these first weeks of boot camp have been hard for our family. We had a family birthday and the littliest ones in our family still seem unsure why Uncle Tim and Cousin Tim wasn’t there. It has been especially hard on my husband. He seems to look around our house, wondering why his son isn’t there.
Yesterday I took a shower and was in my pajamas when the mail arrived. Our mailbox is down the street so my husband hobbled down there on his crutches (broken foot). Without his broken foot I think he would have run back to the house to show me the letter. He came through the door shouting, “We have a letter.” The biggest smile I’ve ever seen graced his face. I want to take a mental snapshot of that face and press it into the book of my memories.
We opened it carefully to save the return addresss, this is our only clue to how to write him back. LOL I was shocked. It was a whole page long. I don’t think my kid has written that much in his whole life. He sounds tired but so excited about this adventure he is on. He wrote about new things like fire guard, which I had to wikipedia to learn what it was, and about ordinary things like being excited about finding his lost watch.
Then he added a line I’m sure was in every letter sent from that barracks — Please tell everyone to write me.
Jill James – proud Army mom