Recently my son Preston finished a third deployment and got a police escort from the freeway exit to his house.
Normally this sort of thing happens during the day and it involves both lights and sirens, but since his flight got in after midnight it was a very quiet affair.
As I followed the procession that night at about 1:15 am I thought about all he’d done over the years, and how very cool and appropriate it was they were honoring him this way! I felt proud of Preston and happy to be his mom!!
While I was driving I remembered another time thirty nine years ago, when Preston’s dad graduated from college.
My then twenty two year old husband had, for four the past four years worked a full-time job and also taken on a full load in college while maintaining high grades throughout.
On graduation day I was tired because I had a five week old baby (my third in three and a half years) and I reasoned that I didn’t have a sitter or anything to wear. My young husband said it wasn’t a big deal if I didn’t go.
So I did the easy thing and stayed home while he went to his college graduation alone, and walked with no one family wise there to support him.
That, is something I will always regret.
I have learned from painful experience that there are certain events that only come around once and if you miss them you miss out. Some things deserve to be Celebrated and majorly acknowledged. They deserve our full attention, recognition and applaud!! Things like graduations, weddings, recitals, getting an award, birthdays, even funerals etc.
On the night that Preston came home from his Africa deployment I followed a quiet but well lit up procession and thought about how even if it was in the middle of the night and nobody really knew or cared if I was there, I knew and I cared.
It mattered to me that I’d shown up! And I knew that deep down it mattered to Preston too. I’m glad I learned my lesson, and this time I didn’t do the easiest thing and stay home.
Because this was one of those times when showing up mattered.