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My son is leaving for boot camp


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I am so sad, scared and lonely. Jeremy leaves Monday night for bootcamp. He joined on the deferred entry program nearly a year ago. I believe it all started with him as a kind of denial when he learned his Dad had cancer. They were always very close. Though we weren't thrilled with his career choice that would take him far away from us, we were nevertheless proud of him. His original date was October 1 and of course that never happend due to Hugh's death. It then moved to February 17th and I have been dreading it. He and his wife have been staying with me since Hugh died. I appreciate the company and he has been finishing the remodeling of our very old house that Hugh didn't get to finish, taking care of the day-to-day disasters (8 inches of water in the basement, etc) and most importantly just being there. Christmas Eve his recruiter called and said the job he wanted in Security Forces was available if he left December 29th (which was Hugh's 60th birthday). He took it and I cried my way through the entire holiday. It turned out that he didn't leave the 29th as planned but he is leaving Monday the 5th. I just don't know how I can get through this. He has been the one thing in this horrible year that has given me sanity. For the first time since all of this started I actually feel like I might need medication to function. Now I will be truly alone. The sane part of me knows this is how it has to be. He is married and he can't and shouldn't live his life in my house taking care of me. As a parent I have to let him have his wings and live his life as his own person. What is that saying - the two most important things parents should give their children are roots and wings? I want him to have the freedom (without the guilt that I suffered when my Dad died because my mother was so needy and demanding the entire 35 years she spent without him.) to be his own person and live his own life, but I hate it! I hate it even though I know it is the natural order of things, and even though I know that he will be there for me if I need him no matter how far way he moves.

I want to be, if not happy or content at least less unhappy sometime soon. I don't want to become my mother who became and remained unhappy and so very bitter after my father died. The one thing I could never do for my Mom was make her happy no matter how hard I tried. The more time that passed after my Dad died (when she was 42), the angrier she became. When she passed away at 71 she didn't even have many kind words to say about my Dad because she was angry even at him for leaving her. I DO NOT want to become her!!!!!

Ugh! I dread Monday night when Jeremy leaves and I dread Tuesday morning when I have to attend his swearing in ceremony.

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Candy -

I'm so sorry this had to come so soon after Hugh's death. There's nothing to tell you that you don't already know. You have already expressed what all parents know -- no matter what, our children come first. We can draw strength from them, but we must not usurp their lives.

I'm proud of you that you're able to look at it realistically and know that we can't always have what we want most. But, oh my heart aches for you. I know how I'd feel if my daughter were to move away. Yes, they will always be there for us no matter the distance, and yes we want them to live their own lives, but oh, the loneliness. I just wish you'd had a little more time to adjust before the callup. Where will your son's wife live while he's gone? The two of you will share anxiety over him and I hope you can stay close.

It's sad that your mother was never able to adjust and remained bitter through the rest of her life without your Dad. It cheated her of so many happy times.

If you just want to rant, or cry, or whatever, feel free to PM me anytime.


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I too am sorry you are having such a difficult time right now. With the holidays just passing and now to have your son leave for the service, it is going to be harder. But like Gloria and you yourself have said, our children do grow up and move out. That is what we do as parents, raise our kids, give them the roots they need to grow their wings.

I know when my daughter was in the AF I missed her terribly, but I also knew I had to let her go. I found that that was a time for me to grow. To learn to live as an individual, not just as a mother. I know this is going to be hard for you, but you will make it through. Just as Jeremy wants to make you proud, make him proud of you also. Have faith.

I have been reading the books by John Edward the last few days because the holiday's have been hard for me too. I have found many things in his writing that given me hope, given me strength, and they have given me some peace in my soul.

Candy, I pray you are able to smile again one day. Accept that it will take time and no one knows how long that will be. Rely on Hugh's spirit to be with you durning this time of adjustment.

My prayers are for you. Take care sweet, wonderful lady.

Much love,


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Just look at it this way, you aren't losing a son, you are gaining the whole Army. All kidding aside, you will be fine. YOu know what you must do, it will be hard on Monday but as you said, you must let him go to start his own life. You can always visit him and your daughter-in-law.

If the house gets to be to much, put up a for sale sign and look for something easier for you to maintain. We all like to enjoy our homes but don't let the home take over your life.

You know what not to do from what you said about your mom so you can only go forward.

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