Friday, April 27, 2012

A little trip to TX

We just spent a few days in San Antonio, Texas.
We missed out on the Alamo.
There wasn't time for the River Walk.
And I'm not sure how, but we ended up back in Germany without a bite of  San Antonio Tex-Mex.

No, instead we spent our time surrounded by 
ABU's, combat boots, and dress blues.
Families, banners, tears, and tap-outs.
Integrity, honor, pride, and service.
It was a very good time in San Antonio.

We're in a life-stage we've done our best to prepare for.
We've discovered words written, read, or spoken often aren't enough, though.
Some things you just have to live to know.
You can't be told how to face off with your son,
receive his salute, and release the man.
How to sit beside him, understand you've done your job, 
and accept it's not the man by your side you can't get close enough to,
but the four-year old you want to hold tightly just one more time. 

And he waits, in the beginning,
 for the first sighting of his brother.
 The love of family is written in permanent ink~
 "So proud of you!"
"So proud for you!"
"I love you young man!"
"Love you big brother!"
"I've never been more proud to wear the uniform!"
We can touch him.  He who was ours first,
we can wrap our arms around for a moment.
And an elder rises, a man of
The Depression
Two World Wars,
and most of the whole of the 20th Century,
his Pa rises to say
"I'm so proud."
We wait for the Parade and Graduation.
For the Red, White, and Blue.
Pa and Granny, they've traveled the miles to witness another son march forward into manhood.
Thomas Armstrong Benton
Little brothers wait, and now that he's gone they're not so little anymore.  How did that happen?
And his big sister beams, dividing her joy down the middle, with pride for her brother and the welcoming to our family of the man who holds her heart in his hands.
Welcome, welcome, with love,
 It begins, and I tear.
Strong men and women march by,
this cloudy day casting shadows of little boys and girls.
I am a mama after all.
 And he's here!
And he's gone!
And it really was all too fast...every savored moment, all too fast.
You did well, Dad.  I suppose I did too.
He knows he is loved.
We've arrived safely in our "new normal."
Emily and Thomas
Thomas and Benjamin
Thomas and Granny
 So funny that I asked for this picture and made myself cry because of it.  I became a mom with these two.  This was the first time I'd let my mind light on the fully opened bud ~ these two have bloomed.
 Thanks Thomas, for taking me gently through another first as a mom.  I know how to be a military wife.  Be patient with me as I learn how to be a military mom.  
We celebrate the son, the man, the airman.
"Off we go, into the wild, blue yonder,
Climbing high, into the sun..."
Always remember, we aimed you centered on Christ.
We look forward to watching you climb higher into the Son.

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen.  We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created.  For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels - everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.  Colossians 1:15-16

Thanks for sharing our TX trip, Favored One.  May your journey be filled with the celebration of life too.


  1. Tobi, Thank you for posting your blog. So touching and exactly what I would have liked to say.

  2. There were a lot of us mammas there, weren't there? What a blessing to be! Hope all is well in your home with this transition, and that your son is enjoying the next phase. Blessings!

  3. What a moving experience for you. Congratulations and may your mama heart be blessed today.

  4. Well thank you very much, I bawled my way through this. I read bout your son's achievement and expected this to be about that. Instead, you hit me with this new stage of mothering slant.

    I'm emotional because I am three days from a new stage of life as a mother in law. My own little boy has grown up and is taking a wife on Monday. Yes, on Monday, they chose the date so they could marry on his grandparent's wedding anniversary. He was very close to them but they will be watching from heaven. So this post really hit me right where I am right now. I truly understood that "shadows of boys and girls". Sniff. Thank you. I think I have been trying to be strong and get things done, that I had not given myself permission to "feel" like the momma whose only child is getting married.

  5. Oh good golly. You are 6 months ahead of me. (((hugs))) We are still walking towards my oldest leaving for San Antonio. Congrats!!

  6. All the blogs I'm reading today are making me cry! This was beautiful, thank you for sharing it! How proud you all must be. I'm gonna go hug my 5 year old boy a little tighter! Thanks for linking up today!

  7. fragrantroses ~ Oh, may your heart be blessed in these next few days, and may you be okay with the overflow "leaking out" at expected and unexpected times. It's so easy as a mom to barrel through things and not allow ourselves to sit with our emotions. I'm so glad that God is not only okay with our feelings, but moves us to new levels of understanding, compassion, and dependence on Him through them. Hugs to you.

  8. Stacey ~ I'm so grateful for God's timing! I would love to walk with you these next weeks and months. I think sending your child off to basic is a more sudden closing of a door than the slow-moving college one. Both are so good and to be celebrated, but loss is loss and you can only move through it with a little bit of grief on the side. Please keep in touch, and I'm happy to help in any way. ENJOY these next months! Hugs right back.

  9. Amy ~ thanks so much for hosting the link-up. I love to write and am passionate about it, but I'm a novice when it comes to using this medium to be the encourager I am. Yes! Hug him! Run your hand through his hair. Watch him play. Smile, smile, smile. And always look for the Goodness of God in him, even when it's challenging. Thanks again!

  10. What a fantastic picture of brothers!

    1. It's been a real treasure to see how close my kids are.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.