I called the house on my way home from work to ask The Kids to do a few things before I got home.
Me, talking to The Boy: “Do you think you can explain that to your sister or do you want to put her on the phone & I’ll tell her?”
The Boy: “I’m not sure. You know how it is trying to explain things to her. You have to draw pictures…. use hand puppets…”
The Boy: “There’s got to be a dating site out there for people your age. Maybe…. ‘I’ve Fallen, Can You Help Me Get Up.com’?”
I wrote recently about my nephew, Dan, heading to Afghanistan with the Marines. (MomDay Monday – God Speed) Sadly, almost a month to the day after his unit left, they’ve had their first casualty.
Lance Cpl. Christopher O. Grant, 20, of Richwood, LA, was killed Sunday, October 20 during combat operations in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.
I feel the need to honor this young man who is gone too soon. Because he was Dan’s friend. Because he was brave. Because he chose to serve when he could have forged a life at home doing something else. But most of all, because, God forbid the unthinkable were to happen, I would hope that complete strangers would honor my family’s Marine.
Please pray for Chris, his family & all those serving around the world. Pray like you’ve never prayed before.
All I can do is honor the fallen here.
Chris (l) & Dan leaving on their first deployment.
There’s been too much sudden loss lately.
One friend’s father-in-law, just months after beating lung cancer, has it return more aggressively than ever & he’s gone within months.
Another friend’s husband, taken over by infection & he’s gone within weeks.
We just never know.
I watch friends scramble to say goodbye to their loved ones, racing to their bedside because they just don’t know when that last moment is coming but they know it’s imminent. How do you face that reality? When you’re suddenly given months, weeks or just days to say goodbye, to make sure they know they’re loved, how do you do that?
How do you say goodbye for the last time?
Then there are the friends who never had that option. The friend whose brother dies suddenly right before his birthday. Or the one whose mom is murdered. What would they have said if they’d known they would never get to say anything ever again?
One friend who lost her brother still posts on his facebook page. She sees his birthday in the most random places & knows it’s from him – on license plates, buses & houses as she’s passing by. She always says, “Thank you for being with me.” I know she thinks of him every day, and I know that wouldn’t change if she had had the chance to say goodbye. For others it’s dragonflies. A long time favorite of mine that I don’t associate with any particular person, dragonflies have been landing on one friend who lost her dad & on another who just lost his husband. On their shoulders, on their hearts. I have never had a dragonfly land on me. And I love them & see them everywhere.
I know what my faith says. That when we die, our souls are judged & we have two places we can go. As The Boy would say, “Either up to heaven or… you know… down there.” There is no room for spirits wandering hallways or signs from beyond. But why wouldn’t a loving God let a loved one who has passed away send some sign or signal that they are alright? Why wouldn’t He want those of us left behind to be comforted by such signs?
I think He would.
“Oh my love, don’t cry when I’m gone.
I will lift you up, the air in your lungs.”
The Boy, after a particularly bad day: “I wish the world had a reset button.” Word, little man. Word.
The Girl: “You know, Sam… Someday, some girl’s gonna break your heart & you’re gonna be a wreck.”
The Boy: “Yeah? What do you do when that happens? I mean, I’m not really the type to sit in the bathroom & cry & eat ice cream.”
The Boy can be very defiant at times. Very. This was one of those times.
Me: “Why do you have to be so rude?”
The Boy: “Why do I still not have an X-Box? These are some of life’s unanswerable questions.”
Noting the look on my face, he paused a beat, got up from his chair & said: “I’ll just head up to my room now.”