Tuesday, June 19, 2007

One Phone Call

I was musing today about how much the world has changed. As I mentioned in a previous post, my brother-in-law is on a missions trip to Cambodia with his Master's program cohort. I've been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the world through Paul's eyes. I've also enjoyed reading the various comments posted about his experiences.

One comment in particular has had me musing a lot. My mother posted a comment about being able to share Paul's day to day experiences via the blog. She contrasted this with only hearing from my dad one time by phone in the whole 12 months he was stationed in Viet Nam. This is what I was musing about: ONE TIME to hear her beloved's voice. ONE TIME to catch each other up on the daily existence of a life lived separately just months after pledging to become one flesh. ONE TIME to say all that was in her heart. One phone call.

I had a little "a-ha!" moment over that. A little moment where my respect and admiration of my mother soared to yet a newer level. My mom has a lot about her to admire. Frankly, though, most of what I admire about her are products of years of wisdom and life experience. Products of hours spent laboring alongside my Dad, serving their local church and learning as they go. I love her people skills, her sense of humor about life, her patient ways, her creative mind in dealing with hard-to-love people. But she learned that stuff the hard way: she lived through it all, one experience at a time.

But this little "a-ha!" was the realization that she was a 22 or 23 year-old kid when Dad left for Viet Nam. A newly-wed, young and untested. Think about what YOU were like as a 22 year-old. I was immature, arrogant, and completely unaware of the great, big world around me. NOT that I knew that or would ever admit that to anyone then. But at 22, my mom married a soldier. Went off to Officer's Candidate School with her soldier and said good-bye when that handsome, strapping soldier went off to war. She wrote long love letters, sent care packages, and built a life for him to come home to. But she didn't know if he was coming home. And she didn't get to hear his voice, cheering her on or lifting her spirits or whispering his love every day. Or every week. ONE TIME. And she was just a kid.

So, as much as I'm enjoying Paul's trip and Paul's experiences, I'm eating a bit of humble pie tonight too. I'm such a wimp. I complain when The Boss misses his train. Or when he forgets to call and say hi. I needed that little kick in the pants - so much so, that it took me two days to process just how ungrateful I can be.

So, thanks Mom! For your sweet comment to Paul. And for yet another thing to admire you for - you ROCK!

*And if you want to read about Paul's experiences in Cambodia, click here! The team could use your prayers and if you care to, your comments of encouragement and support.


TCC said...

I cannot even imagine ONE phone call!

Promises Fulfilled said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I cannot imagine one phone call for a whole year - she is amazing!

Leslie said...

Yep-two weeks is long enough for me. Mom is amazing...and Dad too! Must have been awful for both of them. Love you Mom and Dad!