A Toast from Strangers

This year the start of spring has been extremely cold. This morning, March 26, we have snow flurries outside. A far cry from the beautiful warm spring day in 1989 when my first-born decided to arrive.

I can’t help but think this cold weather serves as a symbol for how military moms feel when their children are deployed. Life goes on, but in a different way, when they are deployed. Since he is far away on his birthday this year it is entirely appropriate for it to be snowing on a day that we usually celebrate new life. ┬áThe weather mirrors my internal mood.

At our house we celebrate occasions big and small. This year celebrating was hard. I had sent a few gifts to him early. He really likes the Combat Humidor and cigars I sent. But last night, his actual birthday, I felt the need to do one more thing.

I called the owner of Molly MacPherson’s, a pub in Richmond Hill. It was one of Nelson’s favorite places when he was living there before he deployed. When I visited in the fall for a Family Readiness Meeting he took me there for dinner. I asked the owner, Jennifer, to help me with a birthday present for my deployed son. After giving her my credit card information I ordered Scotch eggs (his favorite) and a round of beer. I asked her to give it to her regulars at the bar. I also asked her to ask the patrons to toast Nelson on his birthday.

Patrons at Molly MacPherson's in Richmond Hill, GA toast Nelson's birthday.
Patrons at Molly MacPherson’s in Richmond Hill, GA toast Nelson’s birthday.

A few hours later an email came in from an address I did not recognize. It was a message from Jennifer. The email included a photo of a group of soldiers holding their beer up. The attached video was of the birthday toast. Jennifer told me one of the men had been with the same unit as my son, Speed and Power! 3-69 AR.

This cold spring day was warmed by the image of those strangers toasting my deployed son on his birthday. I look forward to the day my son and I can visit Jennifer at Molly MacPherson’s and toast his homecoming.

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