This is the ongoing story of faith, love and family as we walk through this life with 3 sons, one daughter, one daughter in law and one grandson

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chester's Home

I am sitting here writing this post after waking up with all 3 of my boys here for the first time in months. What a great feeling! Our trip had its share of drama, beginning with our initial flight to California. The gate agent started the boarding process by letting us know that there was a mechanical issue with the plane that should just take a minute to fix. Once we have all boarded the plane the pilot comes over the loud speaker to inform us that "he doesn't like this airplane" and that we have not one, but two mechanical issues that do not appear to be able to be resolved. After making that announcement he informs us that it is up to him whether or not he feels comfortable flying the plane in its current condition and since the weather is good, we are going to attempt the flight. We did eventually make it to California in one piece thank goodness. After we landed we checked into our hotel and then hit the San Diego Zoo. We spent the afternoon with the Lions and Tigers and Bears then headed to the mall to do some shopping. Once we made it back to the hotel that evening our eyes were shut shortly after our heads hit the pillows. We woke up early the next morning and arrived at MCRD in time to see the recruits practicing for the days events. We couldn't pick Chester out because of the distance but it felt great just knowing he was out there on the parade deck somewhere. Later in the morning the recruits all line up for a 4 mile "motivational run". This is the first time that you are actually allowed to be close enough to your recruit that you can see him. They stand in front of you for about 5 minutes while you are allowed to cheer for them before they start their run. Unfortunately, Princess and I are so short that the tall people in front of us blocked our view. McGyver being the thinker that he is finally knew that I was going to crawl out of my skin if I didn't get to see my son so he picked me up and held me in the air so that I was literally head and shoulders above the crowd. I scanned the recruits and finally laid eyes on my son. The tears started and kept coming for the next 5 minutes. He set me down then lifted Princess up so that she could see her man as well. After the run the recruits went to the parade deck where they were awarded the eagle,globe and anchor. This ceremony represents the moment when these guys are no longer considered recruits but officially become marines. After this ceremony we were able to spend 5 hours on base with Chester. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He left our home a boy and there was a man standing in front of me. The transformation was incredible. We went back to the hotel that evening, ordered pizza and just hung out counting down the hours until we would actually have Chester with us. Leaving him on base that evening was difficult but I knew I would have him the following day. The next morning we experienced his graduation ceremony . Words cannot describe the ceremony. It was incredible. After the graduation ceremony Chester was able to finally leave the base for the first time in 3 months. Where does every new Marine want to go after graduation? Disneyland! We loaded up all of his gear and headed to Disney. We spent an enjoyable afternoon and evening there where many, many people approached Chester and told him thank you for his decision to become a Marine. Watching these exchanges was somewhat surreal for me but filled me with pride. (The worry will come later, right now I'm just going to enjoy him while he is here). We left to come back home yesterday and arrived early yesterday evening. Chester was suprised to see a HUGE Welcome Home banner affixed to trees near the entrance of our driveway and was blown away when he walked into the house and found all of his friends there waiting for him. McGyver had videotaped the graduation ceremony and everyone wanted to watch it so we popped the tape in for everyone's viewing pleasure. About half way through the tape Chester asked McGyver why he was taping Gomez. It turns out that McGyver taped the wrong Marine for half of the ceremony! In McGyver's defense-during this ceremony the Marines are a fair distance away, they have their "covers" (hats) pulled low on their heads and both Chester and Gomez were wearing the famous Marine Corps issued glasses. So we have some great video of a kid named Gomez and not so much of Chester. This is just the kind of thing that happens in my family so all we can do is laugh about it. This morning I am sitting here enjoying a cup of coffee, updating my blog and listening to the sound of Chester rec0unting his boot camp stories to his brothers. Life doesn't get much better than this.

1 comment:

M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Oh it just sounds wonderful!!! You must be flying. :-) Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

(And isn't M a sweetie to hold you up above everyone else so you could see? He gets huge gold stars in my book.)

About Me

I am a Christian woman, the wife of an outdoorsman and mom to a computer loving twenty something guy, a Marine, a Sailor and a three year old Princess who rules the roost and has all of us wrapped around her little finger. Add into the mix a daughter in love and the cutest grandson in the world and you have our big old house of love