Today is Memorial Day and I am flooded with memories of all those who had given their life for our freedom but there are a couple in particular that I treasure the most.
My son had joined the Marines on Mother’s Day 2007. I’ll never forget it. He was so excited and I was so scared! He had been planning this for a long time and along the way talked several of his friends into joining also.
After 8 weeks of bootcamp, it was graduation day! We drove down to South Carolina for the ceremony and I could not wait to see him. We parked our car in the parking lot near the family center and I called him on the phone. We are here I told him. He said where exactly are you I am walking down the sidewalk. I told him we were walking toward the family center from the parking lot. We stayed on the phone giving our step by step positions and he said, “Mom, I’m right across the street coming toward you”. I looked up and there he was, but it wasn’t my little boy that was coming toward me, it was this tall, skinny young man grinning ear to ear.” I instantly started to cry. He went in to the service a very skinny kid and I never imagined he would lose so much weight. He looked like a toothpick! He ran up to me and wrapped me in his long gangly arms and I hugged him back and did not want to let go. But I finally did and we moved on to the ceremony. After it was over, we celebrated as a family with dinner and just spending time together. It was a true blessing.
After that he was able to come home on leave, for a visit and when he returned back to base, it was like he had a normal job. He got up and went to work and came home every evening. I started to feel like we would get through this.
Then we got the news he was to be deployed to Afghanistan. I was never so scared in my life. Along with him, his best friend was also being deployed. For what felt like more than one lifetime, they were fighting for our freedom.
Within a couple of months of coming home my son was in a convoy and he was in the second tank sitting on the top as the gunner. The tank in front of him ran over a IED (improvised explosive devise) and the shrapnel flew in all directions, some of it slamming into my son hitting him in the head. He spent three days in a coma but thankfully he physically recovered but emotionally he was a wreck.
A few months later he was undergoing treatment back in the United States for his injuries and I got the phone call that his best friend was shot and killed in the line of duty just four days before he was supposed to come home from his deployment. I had to call my son and give him that news on top of everything else he was dealing with. As a mother, it was the worst moment in my life and I will never forget it.
My son, who is always the happy go lucky life of the party, was sullen and depressed for so long. He underwent extensive psychiatric treatments and still does to this day. It has been five years now and he is slowly becoming the fun loving kid that left here on Mother’s day in 2007.
My point to this story to you is that it only takes a blink of an eye for your life to change. Please, make every day count.
In loving memory of Anthony DiLisio
Thank you Twanz for giving your life for my freedom! We love and miss you every single day!
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