“Don’t stop trying because you’ve hit a wall. Progress is progress no matter how small.”
Since November I have committed to lose the 66 pounds my doctor has told me that I need to lose. And in all of that time, I have only seen the scale move from 216 to 198 pounds. There are weeks that pass that nothing changes. Not a single pound is lost.
“Even if you can’t physically see the results in front of you, every single effort is changing your body from the inside. Never get discouraged!”
I do know that my dedication to exercise still has benefits beyond weight loss. I know I’m stronger and that my heart is healthier, that I’m building muscle, that things are happening inside of me that are positive and good for my body, mind and soul. That is why I keep going. Because I know it’s good for me. I know it’s paying off. Even if I can’t see it or if no one else can notice. I’m doing a good thing for myself, my health. I feel more motivated than ever to keep going in spite of the lack of weight loss. I have not missed a single boot camp workout over the last 5 weeks. 5 days a week at 5 am I get up, I show up, and I do the work.
“When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”
I am so grateful that my husband made the commitment to go through this with me. It’s been such a mental struggle for me and I’m not sure I would be able to keep going were it not for his encouragement and willingness to put in the work with me. He has always been supportive of me with my weight and health problems, but the fact he’s willing to get up every day and do this with me– it’s love in action and I am grateful. He pushes me when I need it, he holds me close when I break down or when I’m feeling like a failure and every day when we are done with our workouts, he gives me a slap on the ass, a high five and tells me he’s proud of me. I’ll be honest– There have been mornings when we are grumpy, have been arguing all morning and can’t stand the site of each other’s faces, but no matter what, he is there for me and I couldn’t be more grateful for his love and dedication to me.
“It’s a process. It’s a process. It’s a process. Change takes times.”
There are so many things to tell you about these past two days, but for now, I will share with you the first moment we saw our son for the first time in three months.
More to come soon…
I want to write every single day, but all I want to write about is how much I miss my son. No one wants to read about how much I miss my son every single day.
When I received two letters from him earlier in the month, it was like opening the most amazing gift on Christmas morning. Even though I was sad and I missed him, I had his handwritten letters that I could read and know that he’s okay.
I have accepted the fact that I won’t be able to hear his voice, but I still need to know how he’s doing. I want to know how he’s holding up to the intense training. I want to know if he had his wisdom teeth pulled. I want to know if he has pneumonia like several other recruits in his platoon. I want to know that he’s getting through this and hopefully, that he’s thriving.
But the last time I received a letter from my son was on May 14th. Every day I wait for the mail. I think I hear the mail truck and I go running to the window to see if it’s there. My heart starts pounding. Surely, there’s a letter today. But for the past eleven days, there hasn’t been a letter.
So, I read the two that I have, over and over and over again.
“I miss you a lot. I didn’t think that I would, but I do.” He wrote. “I hope I hear from you soon.”
He didn’t know at the time he wrote that letter that I had started writing and sending letters to him daily. And I’ve been writing every day since.
But I’ve heard nothing from him in return.
The silence is hurting my heart.
“Hopefully today” is what I say every morning when I wake up.
Our son has been gone for two weeks. For two weeks, I’ve not heard his voice, or his laughter. There has been no sound of sweet music coming from his bedroom. No hugs, no arguments, no text messages.
The only thing we have are his handwritten letters. They are comforting, they are heartbreaking, they are the greatest joy of my life right now. I’ve only received two so far, but I read them over and over again. Even though he’s going through an intense, difficult experience, he’s managing to keep his sense of humor. I find comfort in that.
He’s not yet received our letters and that hurts my heart a bit. He desperately wants to hear from us. I hope our letters arrive sometime this week.
We’ve written so many letters.
Because that’s all we can do. Write. Wait. Read. Write again.
Hurry up, July 27th.
Yesterday I received the first letter from my son, Recruit Valtierra.
My daughter was thrilled, I was relieved.
Inside the envelope was a two page letter from his Senior Drill Instructor. Although it’s a standard form letter, I found it to be quite comforting. The portion of the letter from my son was addressed to “mother and father” and basically told me his platoon number and his graduation date.
July 27, 2012.
The letter was typed, but he did sign his name. I cried when I saw his handwriting. Tears of joy, tears of Oh My God, I Miss Him So Much.
My cousin is a Marine and he gave me some really good advice on writing letters to my son. He said that when you’re in boot camp, you’re extremely home sick. He said to keep the letters positive and encouraging. As I wrote my first letter back to him, I resisted the urge to be all “I miss you so much that I cry every and life is so sad without you.” Instead, I spoke of how proud I am of him, reminded him how strong he is and told him to always believe in himself and that HE CAN DO THIS. And then I told him how I cleaned under his bed yesterday and found 4,302 empty water bottles and why you gotta be such a slob, boy?
I just feel so much better about everything knowing that I can finally communicate with my son.
Related: How many letters is too many letters? One a day? Every other day? I don’t want to overwhelm him, but I also want to be sure he knows we’re here thinking of him, supporting him as best we can.
I was sitting at my desk, working. My son walked into my room, laid on my bed and began playing the guitar.
“Have you heard this song, mom?” He asks.
I feel the ache in my chest as tears start to form in my eyes. I answer his question, fighting back the tears.
“No, I’ve never heard it. Play it for me.”
He does. I close my eyes and listen. He sings, he plays. I think back to when he first started playing guitar. He was just a little guy, with a little guitar that his Grandpa had bought for him as a Christmas gift. I remember the day of his very first lesson. He packed his guitar carefully into the case and carried it outside with such care and much pride. Playing the guitar became a passion of his. He plays with his brother in the garage, he plays with his church worship band. He learns his little sister’s favorite songs and plays for her while she sings along.
There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t play his guitar. There have been times where I’ve asked him to go play in the garage or to close his door because mama needs silence to watch Real Housewives of Orange County. But the truth is that the music he makes with his guitar is a source of great happiness.
In just thirteen days, the sound of my son strumming on the guitar will cease. I don’t know if my heart will be able to stand the silence.