Tag Archives: Slice of Life Challenge

Slice of Life 18: Support Systems


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

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Exactly how big are the roots that are needed for a healthy tree?

Of course, it will depend on the tree.  What about this image?  The “invisible to the eye” root system of the tree is bigger than the visible part of the tree.  Is that possible in other “root” or “support” systems?

How big is the “support system” or root of a family with a member deployed overseas?

It’s huge!  And the sole purpose of this post is to say:

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In our family, the system is amazing.  Everyone that attended Evan’s wedding last year is a part of that support system.  From the quilts (Aunts Pat Mary and Grandma) to the Kolaches (Aunt Mary again) and even Grandma Twilah who pitched a hand to help out!  The little kids were entertaining at the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, reception and dance!  What a celebration to begin a new life as a couple!

While deployed, there were boxes, cards and thoughtful remembrances that kept the family tree standing despite the distance and the long, lonely days. Thanks to Mom and my brothers and sisters and their families who contributed to those efforts!  To my family who welcomed Julie with open arms to the Marek and Ruth Christmas, “Thanks!” is just one little word with millions of thoughts attached!  You are all greatly appreciated.

To the teacher of my great nephew Benen, “You are amazing!”  His class sent cards for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.  Evan and Julie recorded a “thank you” which became a part of the school celebration for Veteran’s Day starring Benen!  You’ve never met Evan but yet took the time to honor and recognize a soldier away from home and from a community half-way across the state! Priceless!

To my friends and co-workers, thanks for asking about and listening to my stories about Evan and Julie.  It made the 248 days more bearable.

To Allison, thanks for searching for soldiers to support!  Also thank you for your continued contact and support of both Julie and me as well!

To my fellow “Slicers” who I have YET to meet – special thanks for your comments and thank you’s for Evan’s service.  Simply taking the time to comment is/was greatly appreciated!

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It’s hard to find words to say “Thank You” to my son for his service, sacrifice and patriotism, but there are many others that I also need to thank!

The real hero who must be recognized is Evan’s wife, Julie.  What a trooper!  Not fun to have a husband of two months shipped overseas.  Lots of love, laughter and tears did help you through those long months of an overseas deployment! (and frequent conversations with the dogs, Toby Ryan and Millie Ann!) Julie won the prize for the best “duct tape” and decorated boxes!

And then the shining stars behind Julie every step of the way – her parents, John and Debbie; and her sisters, Melissa and Keri and all their families.  Julie’s parents were there to see Evan off and to see him safely home.  Keri, Alma and Melissa also were there for the celebratory homecoming.  Aunt Lisa, Andy and Matthew were also there for the homecoming dinner and tons of support.  Your love is visible in all your actions and words.

Like the tree roots there are many invisible supports as well: the FRG groups, the prayers at churches across the country and many other community groups that routinely support  deployed service member’s families.

With my deepest gratitude!

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and my sincerest apologies for anyone that I left out!  (I blame “my increasing age” and “failing memory”!)  As well as my thanks to any readers who are at present or who in the past have been part of a soldier’s support systems!

With this metaphor, is it possible for a person to be both a branch on the tree and a part of the root or support system?  What do you think?  (Add your thoughts to the comments!)
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