Justice has been done in the death of Osama Bin Laden, the evil mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks on America. As soon as I saw a headline on the internet, I switched on the news for verification and learned it was true. I picked up my phone and called my son, Mike. No answer. I don't leave him voice mails - it's a thing with us - so I waited 15 minutes and tried to call again. No answer. I sent him a text, the best way to reach him anyway. I had to talk to Mike!
You see, Mike fought in Iraq - twice. He was on the front lines in the battle of Fallujah. He was doing urban combat at age 19 when his peers were headed off to college. He fought - and he came home - but many of his buddies did not come home. I had to talk to Mike!
After a few more minutes, my phone rang - it was Mike. "Mom! Can you believe it? I sure can! I knew we'd get him. We got him. I'm glued to the news."
"Yeah, we got him. We got him," I replied, a hesitancy in my voice. "I'm nearly speechless. I don't even know where to begin."
"I know it," he said, "I know it. It's amazing and just perfect. I never had a doubt. Never a doubt."
And, inwardly, I cried at the tone of his voice. This "boy" who became a man on a live battlefield in urban combat in a place 8,000 miles from home, had changed forever because of this war. He was strong before he went, but now he's stronger and has a different focus. His world is black and white now. There are no gray areas. He's decisive and sure; he's focused and intent. Right is right and wrong is wrong and he's prepared to live with the consequences of either. He goes in with his eyes wide open, tells you the truth, and does the right thing no matter what.
I am glad that justice has been served in the death of Osama Bin Laden. I am glad for all the families who lost loved ones on that September day. I'm glad for all the service men and women - and their families - who have served, fought and sacrificed to bring him to justice. And I am glad for my Mike.
And, deep in my "mother heart" I am acutely aware that I will never, ever get over my son going off to war. I am forever changed.