Saying Thank You to a Handsome Stranger

I have been at many book signings the past few months for Love You More Than You Know. You won’t know what signing I am referring to.  I have been very proud to present a power point show highlighting pictures of the moms and their military children from our book, looping continuously for everyone to see during the signings.

In the story “Ten Years From Now”, about a Navy SEAL, a mother cannot identify herself for security reasons. The picture for her story was the Navy SEAL insignia.

Her son always wanted to be a Navy SEAL even when he was in middle school. That was his dream. Years later, he realized that dream when he became just one of the 22 classmates to graduate as a Navy SEAL out of the original class of 168 elite people.

This training is what many consider to be the most difficult training available in the Armed Forces, and includes, among other things, training in combat diving, demolitions, marksmanship, patrolling, cold weather survival, land warfare and parachute operations.

This mom says you will rarely read about the medals and awards that SEALs receive, and there will be no articles in the newspapers about their deployments or return home.  You won’t see them in uniform at the airport. You may never know when one is in your midst.

This mom continues, “You will not see my name or the name of my son in this story. My son told me to create a pen name—In his honor there is only one way I can sign it—The proud mother of a Navy SEAL.”

At the book kick off last year– we read “Ten Years From Now” and that mom was in the audience. She was so grateful to have her story heard—because we can never hear her voice reading this story out loud.

The Navy SEAL insignia in my power point presentation prompted a handsome man to come over to the signing table.  He asked, “How do you know about that?”I explained how one of our moms had written her son’s story (anonymously of course) about her Navy SEAL.  With tears in his eyes, this handsome stranger touched his chest and said, “I wear one of those under my sweater. Thank you for telling that story.”

With tears in my eyes, I stood up and asked him if I could give him a hug. He nodded yes. I thanked this handsome stranger for his faithful service. Therein lies the power of stories.

“I have learned . . . that the head does not hear anything until the heart has listened, and what the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.” ~ James Stevens