My youngest son--this guy--
Last night, he called to say that he'd completed his fifth and final qualifying jump of the week (preceded by two weeks of training down in the equatorial South) and is therefore now officially an Army Airborne paratrooper. I'm so proud of this boy. But actually, the above photo of him is no longer quite accurate. These days, he looks a little more like this:
a six-week college internship, and my airline pilot husband was able to bid a couple of trips over there to meet up with him. They did a little sightseeing together, including a visit to the church where our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Laboure and gave her instructions for having the Miraculous Medal created (more to follow on that--there's a blog post all by itself!). C'est some vie, huh? Then dad and son flew home together on the same plane when the internship ended, with dad at the controls up in the cockpit. (That whole driving your kids all over kingdom come thing doesn't end when they grow up and move out, I guess.) And he was no sooner home from France when he turned around and headed down to Georgia. I sure missed him this summer!
My son feels extremely blessed to have been given two once-in-a-lifetime opportunities within the space of a single summer vacation. He is so thrilled to have earned that set of Airborne wings. It's quite an accomplishment, and he can pin those babies on his uniform with pride. His mother is happy about all of that, too, but she mostly feels blessed that he is coming home from Airborne school in one piece, healthy and whole. On the day of the first jump, one of the Airborne students experienced a seizure from unknown causes while he was in mid-air, and he was unconscious when he landed. He broke his leg on impact and remains in a medically-induced coma, while doctors try to figure out what's causing his illness. Please keep this poor young man in your prayers.
Meanwhile, I am offering prayers of thanksgiving to St. Michael, the patron saint of paratroopers, for helping my boy to get through the experience without any injuries, illnesses, or mishaps. My cup overflows, as usual. God is so very, very good!
This is what it looks like when you jump out of a perfectly good airplane...
And now I'm saying prayers of thanks that I didn't have to be there to see my son do it.
(Okay, that's day 5 of the 7 Posts in 7 Days challenge! I'm on a roll!)