Two days to gather….

We had two days together…..two days to gather for Peter’s short leave
before he flies away into combat in a desert faraway,
two days of bonfires and doughnuts 
and long yellow ribbons dancing in breeze
for his eyes to catch the love
and store it away
in his heart
where we always are.

Two days of soaking hungry in their laughter
and pressing through the goodbye hanging heavy
and learning to skype
and biscuits and gravy slow in the morning,
pot roast and trimmings painting air thick with memory.
Two days of simple errands seeming rich
and chairs pulled close around table,
treasure tucked away in the sweet spot of my mind.

And then time pushed ahead and tumbled in,
time to say goodbye.
And we all did it…..all stepped forward to say it
and took the pounding and pinching of it,
stood in the pain of it
alone and together.

I watched my brave ones bend as the sadness stormed down
and not go hard in the pain of goodbye
and I breathed weak thanks for this
and for two days to gather
and for Love that holds us each
and together
in tender knowing hands.

(It’s the  idea that Love knows….really knows
and cares
that helps with breathing
in and out
and I open wide
to the comfort
that comes
….always it comes).


  1. Marion on October 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    for his eyes to catch the love
    and store it away
    in his heart
    where we always are.


    Oh, so much love and so much goodness here. So much love that he must feel so full and rich in love. And that love will surround him and hold him and protect him and nurture him through all that he must face. It’s the enduring power of love, the gift from a mother to son that will get him – and you – through this.

    And my heart aches – from one mother to another – at the pain and fear you must be living with.

    You both are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Peace, Peace, Peace…

    and love to you both.

    PS – Just about to hit “post comment” when my daughter E came and and said why are you crying? And I let her read your post. To understand the cost of war, to understand the sacrifice and to understand what love can give. thinking of you!

  2. missing moments on October 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    so beautifully written
    embrace love and release
    into the world
    he goes
    nothing but goodness to surround him
    to bring him home again

  3. Kathy on October 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I will wrap help to wrap you all in prayers. Much much love, kath

  4. Kathy on October 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Oops, it was supposed to say that I will help to wrap you all in prayers. Though I am not good with typing nor with proofreading, obviously today, I will pray for you and your sweet family, Jennifer!

  5. Louise G on October 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Prayers yes.
    Love always.

    And in his heart
    he carries you where ever he goes
    and in your heart
    he will always know
    he is Love and Loved

    Hugs my dear and beautiful friend.

    My heart holds your gathering
    in hands of Love.

  6. Liz on October 23, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    my brother is in Aghganistan….an amazing thing happened one night not long ago:

    My brother works seven days a week, 12 hours a day, as do all the men and women on this particular base, their routine rarely changing, never a day off.

    For some reason, someone got it into their noggin to have a cookout this one night, a complete diversion from the usual flow of life at the base.

    All were gathered in one particular tent, away from where they would normally be: their bunks, smoking outside the main tent, etc.

    That night, their was a rocket attack on the base. Not one person was wounded, as they were all attending this cookout. The place the rocket entered was the place my brother and his friends usually hung around at the end of their long day, smoking, chatting, what have you. the bunk the rocket ended up hitting belonged to a man who, that one week out of the entire year, had decided to take leave.

    *not one person was injured*, whereas, under normal circumsances, it would’ve been a very different story.

    my brother tells me these sorts of stories, which speak to him of God’s keen eye on him and his friends, in a place that feels so “God-forsaken”…..

    A mighty fortress is our God, Jen…..

    “Whoever touches you, touches the apple of My eye.” Zechariah 2:8

    He is in good Hands, Jen…….so are you….

    much love,

  7. rachel awes on October 24, 2011 at 5:54 am

    he is so blessed to have you as his mom, dear jennifer.
    gorgeous post. heart post. oh, how it is that we experience
    so much letting go. my heart aches beside yours. & also
    prays in comfort for you. lovelove to you. xox

  8. Bren on October 24, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Ah Jen you are an extraordinary woman. You know this goes into the book don’t you? I feel your heart and the heartbeat of your family, it’s an amazing gift to be able to express with words what is so intangible. May God watch over and keep you and yours.

  9. Lynn Wilkinson on October 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

    feeling a heavy heart, knowing it is only an ounce of what you must be feeling.
    Remember… one foot in front of the other, one breath in and then out, staying in the
    present with mindful awareness of the great love that surrounds you in the present and that of the brave and courageous son you raised. Mindfully aware it will be only a short time in the wave of in life before he is back with you in your arms.
    Love you,
    Jennifer… what an incredible love you chose to share with us, an example to aspire to.

  10. Cousin Cathy on October 24, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Your thoughts become beautiful words on paper and we appreciate you sharing them with us. With all the prayers going up for Pete you know he is protected and surrounded by love. Take care and hold tight to good memories. Love to all

  11. Kim on October 24, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Beautiful. Lots of hugs and prayers for you and your family.

  12. Joanna on October 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I love all of beautiful you!
    Peace to you in orange (courage!) pumpkins.

  13. Joanna on October 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I love all of beautiful you!
    Much peace to you in orange (courage!) pumpkins.

  14. Julia Of Petals and Wool on October 24, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Jennifer, I’m so glad that you had this time together. May God keep him well and safe while he’s away from home. I’m glad that you will be able to Skype. Blessings. Julia

  15. Connie Smiley on October 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Such poetry, Jennifer, from Skype to painting air thick with memory! You take my breath away, and I’ll be praying with you for that son of your heart. You bless me, you know.

  16. Searching Soul on October 24, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    You have such a beautiful blog that touches the heart. I enjoyed reading and I love your pictures. Thank you for leaving a note in my blog. I so appreciate it.

    Keep on writing. Keep on planting. Keep on dreaming.


  17. Poetic chronicles on October 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    It’s there, safely tucked in that sweet spot of your mind and heart. Two blessed days, to store happiness in deep, thick honey drops. A dreamed remedy against cold days! By the way, that photo is awesome 🙂

  18. S. Etole on October 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Soaking in the love in your words and praying safety for your son and for the loving hearts that say good bye and yet hold him close.

  19. kathryn on October 24, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    i just could not imagine that as a mother…my prayers are with you and your family. your post is a beautiful way to commemorate your love for your son and family!

  20. JBR on October 25, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Beautiful family Jen. Always blessings and hugs.

  21. Anita on October 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Amazing and beautiful love you share, Jen. What a stunning family you have nurtured and set free. Prayers that they all return safe, and often.
    With love,

  22. Christina on October 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    two days of love and new beginnings.

    i send you love~

  23. beth on October 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    two days. filled to the brim. with more love then some people ever know in their lifetime. how lucky is he ?
    what a beautiful family you are !!

  24. Marcie on October 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    And – it’s exactly that love that will guide and carry you!! What a beautiful family!

  25. Sandra L. on October 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Bless you, dear Jennifer. Lovely photos–I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  26. Lee Ann G. on October 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    What a wonderful momma you are Jen! My heart felt every word as you talked about the two days of loving on your son before saying goodbye. What a wonderful son you’ve raised and how he is going have such special memories of love from his precious family loving on him before leaving.

    I LOVE your family photo all together with those pumpkins! Now are these all your children sitting beside you? I think the other woman looks JUST LIKE Y♥U, so I’m figuring she belongs to you too.

    Love you dear Jen,
    Lee Ann

  27. Relyn on October 31, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Oh, sweet friend. You didn’t have just two days to gather. Most of all, he didn’t. He’s had a life time of gathering love and memories and joy. Your table, your heart, your words, your expansive love – all, i am certain, have fill his arms and heart so full he overflows. All that love, he carries with him. Know that my friend. It is true.

  28. Barbara on November 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Oh, where did the time go? How did I miss this? Sending you a big hug!

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