I am sitting at my desk at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. with a Mother’s Day card in hand and I can’t find the words.
My thoughts wander back to my last trip home to Vermont for her birthday in April. My brothers and I went for a hike up Arrowhead Mountain. It was a beautiful day and I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of awe and euphoria we all experienced as we reached the top. Below us lay the little town of Milton, but it looked so different. It was as if we were seeing it for the first time. The Champlain Valley lay majestically before us. The blue sky seemed endless and we basked in the spring sun. We all felt like we were kids again on some great adventure in our own back yard.
What was most comforting–most beautiful, really—on top of the mountain was that I knew we were going home to mom’s house. Reflecting on that for two weeks has made me realize that her support throughout my life has kept me going through a myriad of circumstances. Her unwavering belief in me kept me going when I was serving in Iraq. I never wanted to let her down. Her encouragement throughout a long period of unemployment and self-employment ultimately helped me maintain a steady course that led to the most rewarding experience of my life: serving my fellow Veterans at VA.
The most reassuring thought a son can have, I think, is knowing that his mother has always lovingly and freely given to him just by being there. Whether I was fighting in Iraq, working in Washington, or in my own backyard, I always had—and I still have—a home to go back to where I am loved no matter what. Thank you for being home, Mom.