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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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My worry and prayer continues

Twenty years ago my husband and I accepted temporary custody of 10-month-old Lee. At the time I had no idea my husband would die when Lee was 4 and that I would be raising our grandson alone. Fortunately I was able to retire from the Cleveland Navy Finance Center and be at home for Lee. Raising Lee has been full of challenges. I often pray for his safety and that he will be financially responsible.

Lee's parents never sought custody of him or attempted to contact him. At age 10, Lee became rebellious and angry, thinking I had kept him from his parents. So I arranged a trip to New Orleans for him to meet his mother and siblings for the first time.

During high school, Lee excelled as an artist and athlete. I was more comfortable with Lee being an artist than an athlete, since I was afraid he might injure himself.

A well-behaved child, Lee accompanied me to family reunions and church every Sunday. I'd always encouraged Lee to believe in Christ. He served as an acolyte, a Sunday school teacher, and then became vice president of our Lutheran Men in Mission group before joining the Army.

Now my worry and prayer for him continues.

Lee is now 20 and serving in Baghdad, transporting supplies. He's been there a year, and I hope he'll be home in February 2004.

I really miss him. I pray every day for his safety. When he told me he wanted to go into the Army, I said, "Lee, the world is too dangerous now." He said, "Well, Mama, you won't have to worry about paying for college." He did go to the community college here for a year.

I write him each week and send him monthly packages with personal items or snacks--brownies are his favorite. Our church also sent him some packages.


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