I rarely made promises to my children as they were growing up. I had had many promises made to me that were broken and I knew the feeling of disappointment. So I would say I would try, I will do my best, I hope, anything but I promise. So when I did made a promise to my kids they knew I would move heaven and earth to make it happen. I don’t like broken promises. I taught my kids that oaths and promises were to be honored.
Shortly before my son Micheal deployed him Instant messaged me “We are writing our wills today LOL” As a mom who knew her kids well I knew that this one act was a huge reality check for my son. If we had been speaking that LOL would have been a nervous laugh. The conversation continued with his questions of what he should do about his truck who should be his beneficiary if anything happened. What he wanted to happen with the insurance money if anything were to happen ( but it won’t Mother) To lighten the mood I told him I wanted him to promise me not to marry some gal in Iraq before I got to meet her. I didn’t have to approve but I had to meet her before he married her. He agreed and then hit me with “Mother… if something happens, It won’t but if it does, don’t be a Cindy Sheehan. Don’t behave like that.” And so I made the last promise I would ever make to my son. “I promise if anything happens to you, I will not behave badly.”
A few months after Micheal was killed I was emailing with a Sgt. in his company… “I am glad you are handling this so well” I didn’t respond to that statement till months later when I met him at Ft. Campbell. “I am not handling this well I am just not behaving badly” There is a difference.
I have tried to keep that promise. I think I have done well in keeping it. The men who served with him say I have. I will admit there are days its harder than others to not be a blubbering idiot. I admit there is anger in the death of my son but there is no one to direct it at so I put it in the back of my emotions. But in the end I made a promise to my son. I will not behave badly.