My how time flies! As you grow older, Kyle, you will understand just what I mean. Someone said just last night that she believes a baby’s personality is established as they’re being born. I don’t know if that’s true for all babies as it was for you. You came into this world in your own timing—3 weeks late—and you’ve never gotten in a hurry for anyone or anything since then. Well, maybe the Marines.
But you still had an opinion. There were things you liked and didn’t like growing up and you made that a well known fact.
You had some challenges growing up, especially during your teenage years. Again, you moved through those difficulties in your own way and in your own time and you came out a survivor and a strong young man.
Do you remember when we went to see “Saving Private Ryan” and we walked out of the theatre and I said to you, “Don’t ever come to me and tell me you’d enlisted in the service. I don’t want to hear it.” Just a few short years later, you brought home the Marine Recruiter and I knew, before you even told me, you were headed for the Marines. Two tours in Iraq and the entire time I lived with my stomach in knots and my heart pounding so loud I thought the world could hear it. Never has any mother been so glad to see a plane full of Marines land (the first tour) and a bus full of Marines (the second tour) pull into the parking lot! And never was any mother more proud of her son that I was of you! I was always thankful you came home and my heart broke for the mothers whose sons didn’t make it back.
You finished your tour in San Diego and moved to New Orleans for your final years as a Marine. And God had a surprise for you there because Angela was waiting for you. She probably didn’t know it . . .
This afternoon, you will stand at the altar and watch as she comes down the aisle to meet you. And you thought you couldn’t love her more, but you will fall more deeply in love with her than you are now. There is a saying I want you to remember and apply it to your life with Angela: “Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”
Today my heart is bursting with pride. You have grown into the young man that every mother dreams of having. I am so blessed that you are my son.
I love you,