Just like that. In the blink of an eye.
We haven't talked to him or his family since leaving Alaska 2 and a half years ago. And today I got a phone call from a good friend of ours informing me that our friend was one of the crew members on board the Chinook that crashed in Afghanistan yesterday.
Just like that.
He has a wife and 2 kids - a son who is a little older than Princess Trouble and a daughter who is just younger.
Just like that, they are without their husband and father.
I cannot imagine the sheer terror that goes through the heart of the spouses in a unit when word hits that a helicopter has gone down. I know the sinking in my stomach is nothing compared to theirs.
And then you wait.
And pray and wait some more.
There's a part of you that doesn't know what to pray for - how can you pray that it's NOT you receiving the visit from the Chaplain when you KNOW that means that someone else will be getting that visit? How do you wish that on someone else?
How do you find the physical strength to open the door when you KNOW what is waiting for you and your family on the other side? I don't know that I could. I think my first, gut instinct would be to run in the opposite direction as fast as I could. Because as long as no one told me that news, I could go on believing that everything was ok.
And how do you tell your children? I'm not sure what would be harder - hearing the news or having to break it to my small children.
I love military life. I really do. And in my heart, I know that when it is time to go, it is time to go. And what you're doing at the time doesn't really matter. You could be walking across the street and be hit by a bus. When it is time, it is time. And there is an honor - a true honor - that comes with giving your life for your country. And that means something. But I'm sure it doesn't make it hurt any less.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pray for this family. For his wife...that she can find the strength to help her family through this. For his children...that they may only remember the good times with their father and that they may grow to realize the honor with which he served his country.
Just like that.