Welcome To Jerry's Haven &Tell Talks.
We are so happy you have joined us. We will be sending out a
newsletter once a week and touch on different subjects as well
as including some links, poetry, and all around Christian Fun.
If there is anything that you would like to see please do
let us know. We welcome any and all comments.
In 2003, as a
single parent of a sweet little four-year-old boy named Dylan
and as a soldier in the Canadian military, I was going on
deployment to the Middle East, although to a location that was
considered safe. Having been recently divorced and dealing
with the challenges of a shared custody agreement and being a
completely devoted parent, I knew this would not be an easy
thing to do. I truly believed I was helping our son by giving
his dad a chance to be with him without me around, so he could
focus on Dylan and provide a stable home for him, emotionally
I left home on December 31, 2003. I
had been told weíd be gone anywhere from six to nine months to
an undisclosed location in the Middle East. I had packed
several self-addressed stamped envelopes with a blank piece of
paper in each into Dylanís backpack so that he could draw
pictures and mail them to me. One of my most vivid memories in
my life was when I dropped Dylan off at his dadís house. I
will always remember Dylan standing on the couch in the living
room window, waving at me and blowing kisses with tears
streaming down his face as I drove away. I donít know how I
could see him or the road through my tears. I felt like my
heart was being ripped out of my chest.
was on the plane, I had a slight sense of relief because the
decision was made and there was no turning back. At the same
time and for the same reason, I had a sense of panic. I was
already looking forward to receiving drawings from my
wonderful little boy.
The first thing I did when we
arrived was to look for a phone, so I could call Dylan. The
camp was well set up with several phone booths. Hearing
Dylanís voice through the phone lines made the distance seem
less; still my heart literally ached. I wanted to reach out
and hug him, but I knew it would be a long time until I could.
Even with my busy schedule and many work challenges,
my mind never drifted far from thoughts of Dylan. We didnít
live far from civilization, so I was able to buy cards,
postcards, toys, clothes, and candy and send packages to
Dylan, so he knew I was thinking of him. Prior to leaving, I
taped Dylan ďreadingĒ along with his read-along stories. At my
lowest times, especially when I had tried unsuccessfully day
after day to talk with him on the phone, I would bring out my
tape recorder and listen to his voice. Hearing him would bring
sadness to my heart, but at the same time I felt a sense of
pride for the great little person that he is and it made me
feel closer to him. I had also videotaped us reading together
and told him to ask his dad to play it for him when he was
On one of my trips into civilization, we
came across a store where you could build your own teddy bear.
I jumped at this and recorded my voice saying how much I
missed him and loved him, and they sewed it up with a heart
inside blessed with my kisses. I could hear his excitement
through the phone lines when he received the bear.
would get up at night to call because the time difference was
ten hours. I also called the day care to find out how he was
doing there. This was an arrangement I made before I left to
ensure Dylanís well-being because my conversations with his
dad were limited. They reported he was doing well and sent me
updates. To Dylanís dadís credit, he did send several pictures
that Dylan had drawn. Between the drawings and the photos I
brought with me, my room was decorated in ďDylan wallpaper.Ē
His face was the first Iíd see when I woke up and the last Iíd
see before I fell asleep. I kept pictures of him at work as
well, so I was never without him.
I was relieved to
find out that we had an end date of six months, which was so
much better than nine months. After almost four months, I was
able to come home for three weeks. One of the happiest moments
in my life was when Dylan was dropped off at my house, and he
came running toward me with a huge smile on his face and his
arms wide open. We held each other, neither of us wanting to
let go. We had a bond that would withstand incredible
challenges. We had a wonderful time together, but I could not
help thinking, How am I going to leave him again to finish my
Somehow I did it, with another tearful good-bye
and wondering how many times a heart can break before it canít
be healed. I just kept thinking, Only one and a half months to
go. After I returned to the Middle East, time seemed to drag.
I thought it would never end! But it did, thankfully, on June
When I arrived home, I picked up Dylan at
preschool. When he saw me, he had a look of relief on his face
and literally fell into my arms. I vowed then and there that I
would never leave him again.
I have since voluntarily
released from the military to ensure Dylan and I will not be
separated again. It was the best decision Iíve ever made. I
have lost job security, but I have gained family security,
which means so much more.
From the Chicken Soup
Stewart doesn't live here!
closed -- this chick has had it!
creative -- don't expect me to be neat too!
- So this
isn't Home Sweet Home... Adjust!
- Ring Bell
for Maid Service... If no answer do it yourself!
- I clean
house every other day.... Today is the other day!
- If you
write in the dust, please don't date it!
- I would
cook dinner but I can't find the can opener!
- My house
was clean last week, too bad you missed it!
- A clean
kitchen is the sign of a wasted life.
Crock Pot Meat Loaf
2 1/2 pounds
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown
1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
small onion (diced)
1/4 cup water
Mix all ingredients in a
large bowl. Form into a meatloaf shape that will fit
into your crock pot. Cut a strip of foil and place under
the meatloaf in crock pot. Cut it long enough to cover
the bottom and sides of meatloaf. Place meat loaf in
crock pot and top with an additional 2 tablespoons
ketchup. Cover and cook on low for approximately 8
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