‘I think about boys, now men, fighting in a war nobody wanted. Teens, just like mine, protecting their country with their lives.’: Mom shares ‘grief and gratitude’ having her son home safe

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“My 18 year old son is home for spring break, and he brought his best friend with him.

These two boys, now men, who grew up together and had sleepovers and bonfires and helped each other through heartaches and played baseball together though neither of them took to it.

They are both here.

And the irony of them being safe here under our roof guts me as I think about boys, now men, fighting in a war nobody wanted.

Teens, just like mine, who went to bed in a normal world one night and woke up in hell the next.

Making impossible decisions.

Protecting their homes and their country with their lives.

Teens who have dreams of who they are going to be someday because they haven’t figured it out yet.

Teens who drink energy drinks and stay up too late and would rather wind the clock hands back a few years to be children again than face the very real possibility they might not live to see their dreams realized.

I want to hold those young men as I would my own and protect them from this reality that feels more like a living nightmare.

I want to sing them a mother’s lullaby and pray over them.

I want to hold my young man close and be grateful he is safe, all-the-while feeling guilty that other sons are not.

I want to shut off the tv and protect him from the images of war while knowing others don’t have the luxury. They are living it.

My mama heart feels grief and gratitude at once, and at times it feels like too much to bear.”

Teen boy lays on couch with little dog curled up against him.
Courtesy of Melissa Neeb

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Melissa Neeb from Never Empty Nest and Faith In The Mess. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Melissa here:

‘I have an empty room. An infinite abyss. A portal leading only to my own memories.’: Mom candidly shares difficult empty nest emotions

‘When your big kid asks you to do something, say yes.’: Mom of teens shares important advice

‘My 14-year-old came into the bedroom with distressed eyes. ‘I was panicking last night and couldn’t sleep.’ This is the third time in 3 weeks.’: Mom stands in the gap for daughter battling anxiety

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