Life sometimes gives you a defining moment. These moments are special and rare, times that touch the heart. It is up to you to pull your head up out of the slog of the daily grind and take note when they occur. One of the very sweetest defining moments EVER is being reunited with a loved one from whom you've been separated. There is nothing that compares.
Seeing DD graduate from the Marine Corps boot camp was one of the most bittersweet episodes of my life. Sweet because I got to see her for the first time in 3 months, and talk to her in person. Hold her in my arms, and kiss her. Sweet because she attained a goal she had the drive to work toward. Sweet because, there is something amazing about patriotism, so completely soul-deep that it touches the core of my being and the foundation values my life is built upon. And makes me proud.
Yet bitter. Bitter because, I can see the toll the physical hardship has taken on my young and beautiful daughter. The weight loss, to the point of unhealthiness. The never satiated appetite she expressed the first 3 days we were with her. The new lines around her young eyes, the scars and bruises on her body from the school of hard knocks. This is not a path I would have chosen for my child. And oh, how it hurts.
How to return to "normal-ness" after something like this is branded on your heart? How do you go back to the routine daily things that need to be done? A large part of my heart is never going to be the same. But, mothers do this very thing every day, as their adult children take paths they never would have chosen. I am but one of millions. This is really one of the hardest things I've done as a mom. But I am so proud of her. Semper fidelis!