Most days, having a well-developed imagination is just the status quo for me. It's not always something you want people to know. For instance, the guys I used to work with found out that I make a vivid mental picture when something is described. It was great fun for them to try to put disgusting or revolting pictures in my brain....especially when they learned dislodging the image isn't easy. Incidentally, it isn't good if a bunch of construction workers discover you don't blush....but that's another subject.
Usually, it is a fine thing to have a good imagination. I can come up with ideas without a lot of trouble. It adds a little extra oomph to my cooking. Sometimes I think it helps me tell a story fairly well, because I can paint a picture in words for those people who don't make their own imagery. But I have to tell you, the day your son goes off to war is the day to have your imagination euthanized.
I don't watch blood-and-guts movies because I don't need those pictures in my head. I certainly don't need that sort of thing invading my dreams. Dreams? Ha. You have to be able to sleep to have dreams.
I picture our young man, sweating under a 70-pound pack, in full gear, under the hot Iraqi sun. Will he be alright? Will he stay well, and come home again with all of his parts present? I hope he comes home safe, to look back on this experience and feel good about it. I am glad he won't come home to the kind of thing that faced the Vietnam vets. They suffered a shameful injustice. Troops come home to a supportive America now, paid for by the ones who came before. I would say thanks to them for that, but words are too small.
Maybe I would feel better if I had ever been where he is going. I doubt it. I do know I will rest easier when he is back on American soil. My mind tells me to put him in God's hands and stop worrying. My heart feels like putting him in God's hands is the same as completely letting go of him, which I'm not ready to do. So I split the difference and ask God to protect them all. (That's cheating, isn't it?) I pray to Mary (surely another mother understands!) to watch over him and bring him home safely. I ask his guardian angel to be especially vigilant. I ask his Grandpa in heaven to keep an eye on him. One thing about being a Catholic, you have no shortage of ones to pray to. If I go many more nights as a neurotic insomniac, I'm going to start praying for Tylenol PM.