Saturday, 24 March 2012

Navy Blue Skies.

It was just before the rising of the sun on that early spring morn.  The beginning of a new day, a new hope.
I sensed that Wednesday, the 21st of March, was going to be a significant day.  I saw that look of nerves on my son's face.  Similar to that look he had when he started in a new high school and met new friends.  That morning, my little twelve year old, dressed smartly in his brand new high school uniform, turned to me and said, "Dad, I'm really nervous."   
And now, eleven years later, my twenty three year old son, prepared himself , despite the nerves, to venture out the door and go to one of the most important meetings of his tender young life.  We drove to Stoke on Trent, destination, the recruitment office of the British Navy.  
For him to do this is true testimony to a remarkable resilience that has risen from the depths of despair.  Setback after setback had taken its toll on his fragile well being.  False hopes of jobs and the indifference of job agencies, had thrown him into a state of deep depression.  He hardly left his room.  Many a day I've been sick with worry, as I've seen those who thrive in this brutal world and those who think nothing of being corrupt, impacting the once happy world of my dear and precious son.  
And my young man has had his first meeting with the British Navy.  He seems hopeful that maybe soon his life will turn around and his dream of his independence, to live his own life, may finally come to fruition.  Now he waits and I wait, for the next part of the recruitment process.  Much has to be checked and verified.
And me?  Yes, I have mixed emotions about such an endeavour.  I'm scared, so very scared.  I'm hopeful, so very hopeful.  I'm proud, so very proud.  But I know, no matter what, I will support and encourage him in all he wants to do.  I look at the possibility of joining the British Navy as a way to utilise and enhance his skills.  I look at this as a chance to make his mark in the world, rise above all that has caused him pain and learn to smile again.
On Thursday morning, I gazed out the front door and reflected back on the day before.  Maybe it was the start of a new dream that set sail upon the seas of contentment.  As the sun began to rise in the Navy blue skies, I smiled and I cried.

62 comments:

  1. I can only imagine all the turmoil going on in your mind right now and also in your sons. What a decision.

    When any young man or woman makes the choice to serve their country, they earn my total respect and have my prayers in their corner.

    Bless you both....Hard work is coming his way, a big change in his lifestyle.... all those things.

    And you, as the father....oh my,,,, the constant worry, yet as you said, the pride.

    Way to go Gary......You done good.

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    1. Hey Bert and Vickie,
      Thank you for your kind and encouraging thoughts. Despite the mixed emotions, the focus on a positive future for my son, remains uppermost in my thoughts. Bless you.
      In kindness and appreciation, Gary

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  2. I can relate to your gamut of emotions, because one of our sons served in the Army. He was a green beret and jumped out of perfectly good airplanes and helicopters, which caused me a bit of anxiety, but there was some pride involved, too. In retrospect, there's no doubt that he benefited greatly from his years of service, and I'm sure your son will, too. (But it IS funny to me when our son makes his kids drop to the ground and do push-ups when they're acting up.)

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    1. Hi Susan,
      I really appreciate your thoughtful comment that provides hope and comfort. And I love the way you balance it with that ending humour. Thank you.
      With respect and good wishes, Gary

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  3. Well the navy is a lot safer right now than the army.

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    1. Hey Grumpy,
      I worry about the safety of all our youngsters who may have to encounter the ravages of war.

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  4. Oh wow! So he did decide to give it a try. That is very brave, but I'm sure the Forces will give him the hope and stability he so badly needs. I am keeping my fingers crossed for him.

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    1. Hi Ian,
      Thanks buddy and indeed, I do believe, if this does come to fruition, this can be the turning point in his life. Thanks for your well wishes.
      In kindness, Gary

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  5. I can certainly understand the conflict of emotion you are feeling...this could be the making of a man....fingers crossed and all good wishes your way.

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    1. Hi Delores,
      Despite the extremes of emotions, I'm really maintaining a positive focus that this will help him become the independent man we both so wish. Thank you.
      In gratitude, Gary

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  6. Dear Gary,
    It is a brave decision that Tristan has made here, and one hopes that it will prove to be a very positive one for him. Your worries, my hirsute pal, are absoultely understandable, given the nature of the state of things at the moment. But, this could prove to be his making, and he will always have your loving support. In fact, I wish my Dad had been a bit more like you, Gare. Aw, shucks!
    Very Best Wishes and hopes for a better future for you and Tristan, your way,
    David.

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    1. Dear David,
      Indeed, his brave decision has been part of the wide experience of emotions I'm feeling. Yet, as you note, this could be his making and no matter what, he has my total love and support. And David, young fella', aw shucks and thanks.
      Thank you for your ongoing kindness and support. It is truly appreciated.
      With kind wishes and respect, your way, Gary

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  7. Hi Gary .. well done to you both - for setting up the interview, and for making sure you both went across to Stoke - I'm sure Tristan is really appreciative of your support.

    Good luck to you both - it's a tough time all round - I am sure in the long term it'll be the best thing that's happened for both of you ... many thoughts, not an easy time - emotions always run so high ... Thinking of you - enjoy your weekend together ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary,
      Thank you and I wanted to be there for him, at a discreet distance, to show him support and encouragement for this very brave endeavour.
      Thank you for those good luck thoughts. I do believe that this can be the start of a new, better, happier future for the both of us. I do so hope that you and your loved ones had a peaceful weekend.
      With kindness and gratitude, your way, Gary

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  8. Thank you for a beautiful post.

    I can't imagine the turmoil you must be going through at the moment but I really hope it works out - for both of you.

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    1. Hi Denise,
      Thank you for that.
      And through the turmoil I visualise contentment as we both move on with our lives. Thank you for such kind wishes.
      Much respect to you and it was my pleasure to visit your thoughtful blog.
      In kindness, your way, Gary

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  9. What a mix of emotions and I empathise with them all. Good luck to Tristan and to you and my hopes for a better future and positive outcome for you both x

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    1. Hey Teresa,
      I'm very grateful for your positive wishes. Here's to a better future for all of us.
      With much respect, Gary x

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  10. Oh Gary!!!! Oh the waiting is awful but there is so much hope!!! So much! You and son hang on in there!!! Take care
    x

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    1. Hi Old Kitty,
      Ah yes, the waiting for that moment when we both can move on with our lives. Hope for a better future is an ideal we surely embrace. Thank you for your encouragement.
      Hope you and Charlie had a lovely weekend.
      With kindness, Gary
      x

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  11. Even as a young pup I can imagine the emotions you must be feeling about this change. May your son be blessed in his new journey! Thanks for stopping by to welcome me & Stanley!

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    1. Hi Murphy,
      And even a young pup can pick up on the emotions of the humans they live with :) Thank you for your blessings for my son in his new journey.
      Oh, Penny the Jack Russell, welcomes you and Stanley to this world. Take very good care and it was wonderful that Penny came over to your site. She told me all about it :)
      Grateful wishes, Gary

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  12. The navy is a good choice. The nervous feelings will soon pass and he will soon have a routine to hold on to and many challenges he will face and overcome. He will change in many ways and all for the better. The proud father will be prouder.
    all the best.

    ray

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    1. Hi Ray,
      Yes, my son has stated he would like to utilise his engineering skills within the Navy. Keeping busy and having a sense of fulfilment will soon help dissipate his nerves.
      So true and we will both change in many ways. This already proud father will become even prouder. Thanks Ray.
      Much respect to you, Gary

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  13. I sincerely wish your son the very best that life has to offer. He is lucky to have such a good, caring father. I am sure that he will do well, and will accomplish his goals. Your son is deinately one to be proud of.

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    1. Hi Jackie,
      I'm most appreciative of your sincere wishes for my son having the chance to embrace the very best in life. Like you, I endeavour to be a most supportive and caring father. And with such support and encouragement, our children can know how much they are loved. Considering all he has been through, my pride in him has reached new levels.
      Thank you, my friend. I hope you had a positive weekend.
      With respect and gratitude, Gary

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  14. My fingers,toes,eyes and everything else are crossed for you both. Keep strong and positive.

    Take Care

    GEM

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    1. Hey GEM,
      I thank you for going into such contortions for us both. I promise that we will stay strong and positive.
      Here's hoping you had a peaceful weekend in your new adventure in Russia.
      Kind wishes, your way, Gary
      x

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  15. It's a bit of a paradox Gary. Obviously you are enormously proud of your son but at the same time you're bound to be apprehensive.
    He is lucky to have someone who cares for him so much. This may be the 'making' of him. Good luck!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hi bazza,
      Paradox is a fitting word. Indeed, my good friend, I'm experiencing emotional extremes, balanced with the thought you point out of this hopefully being the making of my young man. Thank you, bazza.
      With respect and peaceful wishes, Gary

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  16. Oh yes, exciting, hopeful and scary all at once. Everything crossed that this will work out wonderfully for him, and you. With you in his corner, he has much more than other younguns these days. The best to you and Tristan always.
    Laura
    x

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    1. Hi Laura,
      The emotions are so varying. I'm scared and I'm hopeful. I thank you so much for your positive wishes for the both of us. I have seen those who are indifferent to their children. And they wonder why their kids are down and disillusioned. Thank you Laura and I know, how wonderful a mother you are :) Your thoughts and hopes are cherished.
      In kindness and warm wishes, your way, Gary
      x

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  17. You are both so brave, your son for making this massive decision and you for coping with it. I wish you both all the luck and happiness possible. Beautiful pictures and words Gary. Di xx

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    1. Hi Diane,
      These have been heart breaking times. I have watched my poor son be subjected to so much disillusionment and 'false dawns'. Sadly, his story is not unique. I do my best to cope and without the support of lovely people like you, I don't know how I'd manage.
      I'm grateful for your warm wishes and thank you for the compliments on the photos and words.
      Peaceful thoughts to you and your loved ones, Gary xx

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  18. Hello Gary:
    We can well imagine the tide of emotions that have engulfed both you and your son in the making of this important step forward in his future life. Your son is still so young in our eyes, but you are right that it is time for him to feel that he has a direction and something to do which will recognise and make use of his skills. It is so important for young people to feel that they can make a valuable contribution in life and can find work that is both satisfying and worthwhile.

    Your son has already made a big and difficult step and we do so hope that his efforts will be rewarded with a successful outcome. Perhaps the Navy sky is an omen for the good....we certainly hope so.

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    1. Hi Jane and Lance,
      We have both felt vast extremes of emotion. With every moment of disappointment, we have refocused out visions to that day when he can move on and start his own life. Yes, he is very young and still so vulnerable. Yet I know that he so desires to embrace a world of his own beyond our front door. Like so many, his skills, his education have been going to waste. A lot of our young do not want to be another 'lost generation', trapped in a cycle of despair and resentment.
      We are grateful for your positive thoughts. Perhaps this will truly be the start of a most fulfilling time for him as he sets upon the sea and gazes at navy blue skies.
      Much respect to you both. In kindness, Gary

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  19. I hope that your son enjoys the Navy, and also gains personally from his career choice. Equally I hope he is able to remain safe. I'd imagine that this time is both exciting and frightening for you both. I wish both you and him good luck on this journey.

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    1. Greetings Lost in Space,
      Thank you, my friend, for your good wishes. These are times of much extreme. We try to focus on the excitement of a better future and let our fears subside to a gentle whisper. I'm very grateful for your good luck wishes on this journey I share with my son.
      In peace and hope, your way, Gary

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  20. Then for both you I will pray. It's a big step for both of you as he steps forward and you let go.

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    1. Hi Alex,
      Your prayers are warmly and profoundly appreciated. I wait for that day, with a smile in my heart and a tear on my cheek.
      Thank you, Alex.
      With respect and kind wishes, Gary

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  21. I can't describe the feeling while reading your post. It brought back so many memories. Honestly, I understand perfectly how you feel. I can't add much more than that. Not yet. God Bless your beautiful son.

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    1. Hi Joylene,
      Your feelings are written in your heart and soul. I sense your unwritten thoughts. Thank you, for your feelings go beyond the written word.

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  22. I hope the best part of his life is right before him now.

    I don't know which gave me more chills - that first picture or these words: I'm scared, so very scared. I'm hopeful, so very hopeful. I'm proud, so very proud.

    Good luck and best wishes to you both.

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    1. Hi Jemi,
      Thank you and may this be the start of a better time in his life.
      And the power, the interpretation of the picture and the words, is from that wondrous place, the human heart.
      Thank you for you good luck and best wishes to us both. We are most thankful.
      In kindness, Gary

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  23. Navy blue skies - great title. I wish your son well in his new career. and will pray that all the details will be worked out. Your pride and love shine brightly in this post,

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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    1. Hi Tina,
      Thank you for your kind and thoughtful wishes. Your prayers are very much treasured. I think, in some profound way, being a single father has intensified my pride and love for my son. Undaunted, we do our best in some very difficult moments.
      I am grateful for your support. Much respect to you.
      In kindness and admiration, your way, Gary

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  24. Beautiful photographs, and so perfect for the hopes expressed in your post. May all go well.

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    1. Hi Susan,
      Thank you for that, my dear friend. I was so hoping that the photos would incorporate the ambience of my feelings.
      Your kind wishes are much appreciated.
      In peace and hope, Gary

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  25. It seems the forces are the only people that develop potential these days... but as other have said the Navy is probably the best/safest option at the moment. Certainly it helped turn my cousin's life around.

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    1. Hi G,
      And thankfully, my son is trying to enlist for the right reasons and not as a last alternative to the brutal job market he finds himself, along with so many, trapped in. I have had feedback from many a person who has given me encouraging stories of their loved ones who joined the Navy and are having, or had, a wonderful, life changing time. Thank you for mentioning your cousin.
      In peace and hopeful wishes, your way, Gary

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  26. Good luck to him. I wish both of you the happiness of seeing him on the right path, and he must be feeling very proud of himself to have made this step! I enjoyed the pun in the title of your beautiful pictures, the way you linked the ideas up.

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    1. Hi Jenny,
      Thank you and I've a good feeling that this is the path that leads him to a happier life. I'm very proud of him to have made such a step when the duvet could have seemed a better alternative. And thanks for noting how I endeavour to link the ideas up. I often have underlying themes within my postings.
      Here's hoping you had a peaceful, positive weekend during the beautiful weather we have been having.
      In kindness and respect, Gary

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  27. Hi Gary,

    Beautiful title and metaphor.The duality of your situation feels so familiar.

    I wish your son the very best and admire his resiliency. He must be incredibly strong and courageous to pick himself up and sign up for the Navy.
    Just a note on the positive side: When my Dad was in the air force he taught me how to make hospital corners when I changed my bed. Imagine how good your beds are going to look!!!!(just kiddin with sheepish grin)


    Even I feel proud!!! Please send him my very best wishes, and to you both....HAPPY SPRING!

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    1. Hi Rebecca,
      I thank you for your kind, thoughtful and positive comment.
      I am grateful for your wishes for my son. To pick himself up and move beyond the doorway or duvet dilemma, indeed, shows remarkable courage when there have been so many reasons to roll over and find freedom in sleep.
      Ah yes, you mean there are other ways to prepare a bed other than just flinging the sheets on it! :) Thanks for that positive angle. Now if only they could make fitted sheets that actually fit...
      I shall pass on your best wishes. My son appreciates such kindness and so do I. Happy spring and happy renewal to you and your loved ones, my dear friend.
      Much respect to you, Gary

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  28. My love and prayers for you and Tristan. :)
    Wonderful photos!

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    1. Hi Dixie,
      Your love and prayers are gratefully embraced. We thank you :)
      I'm glad you like the photos.
      Please take very good care of YOU :)
      Peaceful wishes, your way, Gary

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  29. I'm so proud of T for making this step forward for both of you. I know it is a scary step, but it is one that shows he is ready for his future.

    (hugs)

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    1. Hi Sharon,
      Thank you and even though it might be a few months before he gets confirmation, it is indeed a brave and scary step forward for him. I'm very proud, for I know just how difficult the last three years have been for him.
      Thanks Sharon and hugs to you :)

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  30. Oh wow that blue sky is amazing. Good luck to Tristan. I hope he enjoys the Navy.

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  31. Hi Madeleine,
    And my, haven't we had some amazing blue skies, just lately. Thank you for the good luck wishes to my son. Now we wait for the day he gets confirmation.
    Take very good care.
    With respect and happy writing, your way, Gary

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  32. I wanted to ask
    How old is Penny?

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    1. Hi John Grey,

      I'm not sure how this comment from you ended up on this posting. However, to answer your question again, I'm going to be thirteen in October.

      Pawsitive wishes,

      Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

      Delete

I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.