Today marks nineteen months since the inception of my son’s transition. This is a month that is extremely challenging. The month of voting, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and family birthdays; all of these events at one time in my life were days of honor and/or celebration. Today they mark heartbreak for me along with many other military moms.
I had a patriotic sign made for Jeremy in his honor for his sacrifice in Afghanistan. It brings me sorrowful pride to plant the sign in the soil in front of my home; I have thoughts of love, respect and honor for my son yet personally I feel I have been relegated to a sign post to point to my son’s greatest achievement.
I want to bring honor to Jeremy on Veteran’s Day, I want to smile and focus on our good memoires on Thanksgiving Day and I want to share his love and joy for his family on their birthdays, but more importantly I choose the honor and I choose the love hoping I can be his conduit to continue sharing his loving energy.
I am not angry with Jeremy’s choice of profession or his sacrifice; it makes me extremely proud of him. I am not angry with Spirit for Jeremy’s decisions on his journey’s path; he did have free will and free choice. But, for the mom in me it is an extremely heavy cross to bear every minute of every day and this month with all its special events only points me to an overwhelming sadness.
Even though I know Jeremy lives on and is in a place of unfathomable joy, peace and love the hard truth is that it leaves a gaping hole in my heart and emptiness in my soul. I work hard not to focus on his physical death yet there are times, days and certain months that leave me no choice but to look at the empty place at the table or the lack of imprint where my son once slept.
He is my child and will always be my “baby”; Jeremy is my only son and it is so very sad for me that he is no longer in the physical realm laughing his contagious laugh and flashing that notorious grin of his. There is no way to convey to someone who hasn’t walked in these shoes the agony of the empty arms and heart that once was filled with unconditional love for a son.
Yet, I will go forward. I will be thankful for things that remain and have a heart full of gratitude for my daughter, grands and family. I will reach for the light, I will mentally and emotionally shut down to Midnight and in the mist of life I will be choosing to grow spiritually.
I reach for the love and peace that surpasses all understanding; the place also of light and love and where my beautiful son is now.
I am so very proud of you Jeremy, I love you unconditionally. I always have and I always will. You were and still are a beautiful gift to us all. I love you son, infinitely and immutably.
In your honor on Veteran’s Day and also for all those who have sacrificed for America.
In love and understanding,
Very proud mom of Ssgt. Jeremy D. Smith, USMC, 03-09-85 – 04-06-11