Tonight I sat down to write a blog post on Back to Homeschool. However, my heart and thoughts are far from that. Recently HERE on Facebook I wrote about some issues happening in our extended family but did not go into specifics. It is difficult to focus with a million thoughts racing through my mind. Getting my thoughts together to blog has been pretty difficult.
When I began blogging, it was my promise to my readers to remain very honest and open about my family’s lives. Deployments, separations caused by my husband’s hectic work schedule, military moves, training exercises, our kids, our lives, our fears and our triumphs. Each of you have been invited in our circle as I shared our journey.
(My hubby when he was young and his Sister—excuse the fingers. My niece made the graphic.:))
As this last school year came to an abrupt end for the last time for many students, one student in particular, my nephew, was about to face reality. For as long as I can remember this boy has wanted to be in the Army. Anytime we were visiting Clay’s family, this is all my nephew talked about. He would ask Clay lots of questions! He was so focused on joining the Army that he joined his high school JROTC program and excelled. Joining JROTC is one of the best things he ever did. He was forced to come out of his shell, provided him with a sense of duty and purpose, and along the way he met some amazing friends.
(My Nephew and Sister in Law at his graduation)
He eventually made his dream of enlisting in the Army a reality. We went travelled up to see him the weekend before he was supposed to ship to basic training. Unfortunately, he was 3 pounds over weight and didn’t ship. Long story short, he now has a new ship off date in September. He has a renewed focus after a few conversations with his recruiters and with his Uncle Clay and shouldn’t have any problems shipping out this time.
(There is a series of pictures from this day with my Sister in Law in this hat. They are some of my favorite pictures ever of her. So beautiful!)
I am torn on him leaving. I am incredibly proud of him, but I also worry about him. He is am amazing 18-year-old. However, Clay and I just left Army life and know the changes — not necessarily for the good — that has occurred in the military in the last decade or so and seems to continue to spiral downward. Needless to say, I am concerned for him. On the other hand, he honestly has no other options for many reasons. Money for education being one of them.
When my nephew didn’t ship to basic training, he moved to Ohio with his grandma, my mother-in-law. His mom and her husband had plans to move to Ohio anyway once he graduated along with my niece. To keep a very long story short, and to keep out some details for protection of my niece who is a minor, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are now both incarcerated. This is incredibly hard for all of us. My sister-in-law and I are very close. I know I’m being selfish, but I miss chatting with her about anything and everything. I find myself texting her throughout the day because that’s our thing. I miss hearing my phone “ding” with one of her texts. I think of things I wish we could have done to have possibly kept her from making the decisions that she did to end up where she is. I often ask myself what I could have done to intervene. Drugs are an ugly disease. They destroy you from the inside out but more than that they destroy families. Setting myself aside and my selfishness for just wanting to talk to my sister-in-law without the detectives monitoring it, I am concerned for my niece who is only 11. If you recall from HERE, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior this summer while visiting us. On July 4th, she was baptized by my husband with her momma in attendance. I am broken for a little girl who starts school next week in a new school, in a new state, with new friends without the one person she wants the most by her side.
I am broken-hearted for an 18-year-old
boy man who thinks he is ready to take on the world, yet more than anything still needs his momma’s hug, her heart, her love, and her undying belief that he can do anything.
So in a nut shell, this is why I have been somewhat silent on here other than some reviews. It is hard to blog about outfits when your sister-in-law was thankful for thermal underwear she was finally able to purchase from the jail commissary. It is difficult to remain focused and blog about Back-to-School for Homeschoolers when I think about my niece. I’m heartbroken for my nephew because he will not be able to embrace his mommy one last time before leaving for basic training. She will miss him leaving for one of the biggest life changing moments he will ever have.
I am also reminded that God is close to the broken-hearted. I am reminded that God can take a broken mess and turn it into something beautiful. I am reminded that we may never understand why things are the way they are, yet through it all we praise the Lord. We trust Him. We believe without a doubt that He WILL use this for His glory.
(This is the last picture of my Sister in Law and I together. We were both crying as this was after Clay and I had been TRYING to get her into a treatment program. Through it all, she never got mad at us. If only I knew what would happen….)
The other day, my sister-in-law called me. She expressed concern about her daughter, a new creation in Christ, not attending church and reminded my niece that there were no excuses not to be in the house of the Lord. Then I am reminded that even in prison, God is there. He is there and He is faithful….always faithful.