Graduation And Mother's Day Vacation Celebration!
by Sharon Raines
(Claremont, NC USA)
Graduation And Mother's Day Vacation - All the kids.
13 years. Hard to believe it had been that long since I had taken a vacation with all of my children. The last time we had went to Pensacola, Florida, Shane and Coty were in middle school. Amber was still in little pigtails and Josh in 3rd grade. Now Shane was a police officer, Coty a bouncer/restaurant manager, Josh a worker for Goodwill Industries and Amber was married and expecting my first grandchild.
The original reason for our trip to St. Augustine, Florida, was for Shane and Coty's wives graduation from the college. But wait--what about Frank's birthday? And Mother's Day? They all collided around May 14th, the day we were leaving for our beach house. And the trip morphed into a cover-all celebration. My husband and I both had our mothers with us too. A first time ever event.
Being a mobile mansion homeowner, the beach house took my breath away. So did the ocean across the street as it does every time I see it. St. Augustine sights were awesome, the ghost-walk spooky and the Pepper Palace blazing.
But the best part wasn't something I could buy.
When supper came, we all sat together at the table on the patio. There was talk of new careers, new babies, talk of an upcoming wedding and flashes of the engagement ring my officer son had gotten for his graduate. The two mom's talked of getting older, of how walking hurt more now, of trucks that sprayed DDT when they were young and how they would chase those trucks down dusty roads on Friday evenings. Some of the younger ones played in the pool.
As futures were planned and the past was remembered, I watched. How precious was this time? More precious than any amount of money we spent to get here. When we returned home, Shane and his fiance'e would move five hours away, to new jobs. Amber and Zach would be building a life with a new baby. And the moms...would the moms be here next year? Would they be able to travel at all? Would the kids be so scattered and busy 'they couldn't possibly take a vacation now, mom.'
And so, I watched. I grabbed every moment and stowed it away in my heart for future use. I snapped pictures. And I soaked up every bit of this vacation celebration, knowing it was much more than a vacation. It was an event of a lifetime, of life itself.
My trip to Oklahoma to watch my daughter graduate ARMY bootcamp!
(Simi Valley, California)
Private Samantha Alsip
I have never been more proud of my daughter, Samantha. My favorite summer vacation experience was when we traveled to Oklahoma on vacation to watch her graduate from bootcamp. She is currently serving in the United States Army, as a combat medic.
Our whole family took a road trip together to watch the ceremony. Although I have traveled all over the world, no vacation has ever been better!
Congratulations to you all, Renee. That's an inspiring story your whole family can remember and be proud of for years to come. Good luck with the contest.
US Army Basic Combat Training - Prepare for Boot Camp
You'll spend the best nine weeks of your life learning what it means to be a soldier in the US Army. And when it's over, you'll discover some amazing things. Your mind will be sharper, your body will be lean and hard, and you'll be more confident than you've ever been before...