At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, I was going to write my Sunday post about how terrible I felt. How sad, how homesick, how blah, blah, blah.
At 11 a.m. Saturday morning, I was going to write my Sunday post about how much progress I had made on my hurricane preparedness, having bought some water and rice crackers and gluten-free canned soups at Whole Foods.
At 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, I was despairing about how boring my writing had become, and how I wasn’t going to post anything on Sunday because I was a boring writer.
At 5 p.m. Saturday early evening, I was going to write my Sunday post about my new addiction to college football, and all the teams I root for because I have family in those towns or because they accepted me or my kids, or because I just like them: University of Kansas, Texas Tech, Ohio State, Miami U. Ohio, Miami U. Florida, Colorado, Maryland, Georgia, Montana State, U. of South Carolina, Georgetown (I know); and against, mainly because they rejected or wait listed me or either of my kids: Penn State, Syracuse, Duke ( I really only root against them in basketball because I am not sure they even play football).
At 7 p.m. Saturday evening, I was going to write my Sunday post about the usual collection of nightmarish guests who seem to overpopulate Saturday nights in restaurants everywhere.
At 9 p.m. Saturday night, I stopped wondering about what I was going to write.
Because a family of four came in, very dressed up. But it was the son I noticed most of all. He wore his dress blue Marine uniform. He was as handsome as he was young.
He is being deployed to Iraq tomorrow, which means today. Sunday. The entire dining room applauded him when he came through the front door. He smiled and shook hands, so self-assured and so handsome. So young. His mother smiled, but she wore her her worry in the deep creases on her forehead, around her mouth. It was her expression that asked the question: “Is this the way I will remember my boy? By this night, by this place?”
I have cried so many tears for myself since I moved to South Florida. At 9 p.m. on Saturday night, I bit my lip to keep from crying for this boy and his family.
At 12:50 a.m., very early on Sunday, I write my post with a prayer in my heart for this boy’s safe return.