Monday, June 21, 2010

Small Things, Tiny Moments

I worked a lot this weekend. I etched, cut, domed, drilled and made many small things. Work is what I do when I have things that I need to work out in my mind. If my hands are busy I don't become overwhelmed with difficult things.

A couple of weeks ago, the FRG from Fort Cambell called, really just to let me know they are there if I had questions. They also told me that the 5 soldiers who died when their truck was hit by an IED were not from my son's unit. He was OK. I knew he was OK because one of the things you get used to when you have a family member deployed is that the first people to know about death of a soldier is the immediate next of kin. And you know that between 10pm and 6am, there will be no knock on the door. So you can relax then.

I'm always relieved when I know my son is alright but at the same time I have terrible feelings of guilt that he is alright but a mother, wife, child is greiving the loss of their loved one. I know this is normal. I work through it. I've been through this before, many times.

My son phoned early Saturday morning. I had only just gotten out of bed. We chatted about normal mundane daily life. How's the chow? How are the dogs? What's your new duty assignment? He's a medic and does evacuation. I'm relieved at this point that he's not doing dismounted patrol this time around. I mentioned the call from the FRG and that we knew the 5 soldiers were not from his unit. It's so hard to get news out of Afghanistan. But it's not true. My son evacuated the bodies and they lost another soldier last week.

One month on the ground in Kunar province and they've lost 6 already. As a family we've been through this before. You cope. You live with the fear. You look forward to those few precious moments when you can chat. I know the toll being a medic in a war zone took on my son. I also know how strong he is and that he will get through this time too.

But as I got off the phone, all I could think of was the last time I saw my son. He said, Mummy, let me give you a hug in case I don't see you again. He meant before I left for home early the next day. But still, that hug lingers there in my memory. I cherish it.

As I worked through my thoughts and emotions this weekend, it became important to me to make some sort of sense out of the little scraps of metal in my tray. I started making smaller and smaller pendants with tiny little glass beads. I was making order out of a chaos of conflicting thoughts and emotions. I saw life as a series of moments and the little pieces I made were a tiny testimonial to how special those moments are. Each moment is unique but added together they make a life.

This one is on a silver chain around my neck right now. A reminder to embrace the tiny moments that are life.


Patricia Wood said...

"A reminder to embrace the tiny moments that are life." We forget too often... Sending good thoughts your way, and to your son too.


SueBeads said...

LeAnn - my thoughts are with you and your son too. I hate the Sunday morning news when they do the In Memorium and I see all those young boys' names...

Love your work, I'm glad what's keeping you busy is working for you!

TesoriTrovati said...

LeAnn...we are each angels with only one wing. We do our best work when we are embracing each other. Consider this the offer of my wing.
Prayers and blessings to you.
Never far from my thoughts.
Enjoy the day.

mairedodd said...

beautiful and meaningful and perfect... i absolutely understand needing to channel your feelings into work, creating some kind of order and beauty out of chaos and other feelings... i love seeing what you did - your etching and beautiful stones... i think of you and your family so often... and i wish all of our troops safety in these dangerous times...

sharon said...

I feel there is really not much I can say except to tell you what I have before....I hold you and your son and his fellow soldiers in my heart....I send you my best prayers and thoughts.
I hope you are finding peace through your is really beautiful.

Prairie Emporium said...

LeAnn, you are special, I think of you and your family often. Your son and his fellow soldiers are awesome Americans to give so much of themselves for all of us.
Your small pendants are beautiful, as always.

Judy said...

Your tiny moments pendant is a wonderful reminder...something we all need to do more often and that is to embrace what we have.

Thinking of you and your son and all of our service men and women. Hugs.

stregata said...

Holding you close in my heart, LeAnn. Wishing there never was a reason for a mother to fear for her children.
Looking at the work of your hands, I can see your mind was very overwhelmed. But look at all the beauty you have created! The little birdies in the domed pieces are so lovely.
Love the tiny moments - thinking a necklace with lots and lots of tiny moments attached = life.
Sending love.

Esther said...

dear LeAnn.. i hope for you .. and think of you .
Love all your little elements!! so cutes!!

Barbara Lewis said...

I admire you so that you are working and that you're not under the covers in bed every day, all day. I'm afraid that the fear, depression, anxiety would immobilize me. Yours is a healthy release. Prayers for you and your family.

BTW, when I saw the jewelry, I thought I was on the wrong blog ... I'm used to seeing clay! Beautiful little gems!

Michelle said...

i'm glad that your son is un-hurt. I'm sure that you give each other strength in those "mundane" things that you speak of.

PS: Love the tiny pieces

Marie Cramp said...

I am chocked up with emotion right now! I feel for you, my first husband was military, it was hard every time he was deployed.
I love what you are making, I have always wanted to learn to etch.

quiltingjewel39 said...

My thoughts are with you and your son. You have a beautiful attitude and must have a strong faith. My son was in the Navy and it's hard -no 2 ways about it. Your tiny pendant is beautiful

Silver Parrot said...

You made such beautiful things here! I can't decide which is my favorite! Prayers for your son and all our sons and daughters in harm's way!

windrock studio said...

Hey LeAnn.....all the lovely ladies before me have said it all so well.
The good thoughts & prayers are with you & yours.....and I'm just loving this recent work you have done.
All my best...Susan

Copper Diem said...

A beautiful post, both in the story you shared and the photos

Pretty Things said...

I so agree.

I was in the military when the first Gulf War started, and I have no idea how I'd be if my son was in the military. I know they watch out for each other, though -- my best friends EVER are from those days.

Wonderful post.

Cindy said...

Just catching up here on your blog, LeAnn, and really felt choked up reading this post. I am relieved for you that your son is well, and can only imagine a fraction of that anxiety that you are going through daily. I wanted you to know I'm thinking of you, and what a sacrifice your son is making for our country. I'll pray for his safe return.