In honor of Mother’s Day this year, I asked Jennifer Rademacher to write about a particular poignant Mother’s Day. Please share some of your experiences by commenting on the post.
Army Wife and Mother currently stationed at Fort Polk, LA with husband Isaac and 6 year old daughter Hunter
Former Captain, with 5 years of service in the 82d ABN DIV
As we head toward Mother’s Day, with the due date of our second child looming, I am reminded of one year in particular that was so bittersweet as an Army wife and mother. When our daughter, Hunter, was six months old, my husband left on his third deployment. He chose to take his fifteen days of R and R in accordance with her first birthday on April 26th. It was an occasion he truly did not want to miss. We had a wonderful party; both sides of our families were able to attend even though they had to travel very far for just a short weekend event. As it turned out, we had to bring him to the airport to return to Iraq on Mother’s Day, 2005.
After a lot of tears at the gate, I returned home with my baby girl to our empty house. On the counter were a dozen red roses and a note. It says: “Dear Mom, Dad and I love you so much and thank you for bringing Daddy home for my first birthday. We love you, Love Hunter.” Then an additional paragraph from Isaac which says: “Jenny, Hang in there. Hunter and I are the luckiest. I’m very proud of you and thankful for you on Mother’s Day. I love you. Isaac.”
This short note is one of my proudest possessions; it now sits in a shadow box with the dried roses from that bouquet above my desk and always brings a smile to my face. My husband had no idea at the time how much it would mean to me and was pleasantly surprised to come home after his twelve month deployment to see it so prominently displayed. I sometimes joke with friends and family that I am a single mother but unfortunately, my husband’s profession makes this more reality than a joke time and again. Those of us that are married to men serving our country know that we rarely come first. When we start having children, the situation deteriorates further because our children become the most important part of our lives. Being an Army wife and mother is a selfless obligation that makes the slightest sign of appreciation feel like a true mark of achievement.
As Army wives and mothers, I know I speak for everyone when I say that we do not expect any praise for our daily sacrifices. It is the sacrifices our children involuntarily have to make which truly break our hearts. We must be extra vigilant as our children deal with having a father on a deployment. Explaining to a small child why Daddy is leaving and won’t be back for holidays or birthdays is a hard task to accomplish. We rarely get to draw within ourselves to worry for our husband’s safety; our children need us to be present, compassionate, and engaged in everyday life as they struggle to comprehend a soldier’s profession and that his absence does not equate to a lack of love.
This Mother’s Day, we also need to remember the amazing sacrifices of active duty mothers across the military. Having been one, I know that this is the most difficult sacrifice I ever had to make. Choosing your country over your own child is purely selfless, these mother’s have taken it upon themselves to make this country a better one for all of our children’s futures and we need to thank them.
I hope that this Mother’s Day, all the mothers and wives of those serving our country receive a show of appreciation from their spouse and children. We are the backbone of all military families and we love what we do.
We also wanted to further support an organization which Cindy McCain and Gary Sinise helped us raise money for last year by doing a special promotion for Blue Star Mothers.
Click on the “Buy the DVD” link at the top and enter “mother” at checkout: In addition to receiving a $2 discount off the purchase price, we will donate $2 to Blue Star Mothers on the sale of every DVD! Buy 2 and receive free shipping. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you amazing moms out there.