Posts Tagged ‘USArmy

30
Oct
09

When you least expect it. . .

Supporting those who fight for our Flag, Motherhood and Apple PieWhile my son was in Afghanistan, the pro US Military Twitter world, an ether community, provided a level of support that exceeded any expectation I could possibly have had, helping me get through an immensely challenging time.

One of the exceptional “tweeters” was ArmyMom101 – a woman by the name of Virginia Rice who lives in Illinois.

She is a prodigious tweeter.  Her “MilitaryMon” (military Monday) and “FF” (Follow Friday) lists of other pro-military tweeters were unsurpassed by any other Military tweeter out there.  The time she spent honoring our troops and our vets, in this 21st century virtual way,  was simply amazing. Her last tweet for the day would frequently be, “I’m leaving for work”, or “I’m going to pick up my youngest from work.”  Occasionally  she would  send me private direct messages with encouraging and uplifting words that seemed to be exactly what I needed to specifically hear that day.

A few weeks ago, after my son got home, she tweeted that she wasn’t going to be online for the next few weeks, because her deployed son was coming home.  Instead of spending time online, she was rightly going to spend this precious time with him.

And then, we saw a tweet that said her son was in a motorcycle accident, with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

And then, he was in a medically induced coma.

And then, her son, her youngest, died.

Wendel Rice was 28.  He was not Virginia’s deployed son, he was the son that she picked up from work.  The son that was home. The one she wasn’t as worried about. The one that didn’t seem to be in harms’ way.

When we least expect it, our lives change.  Those of us over 50, think we’re aware of the fragility of life. We think we remember to treasure each moment, count our blessings, be present to each other.  But we don’t remember. We take our blessings for granted.  And we aren’t present for one another – not like we should be.

Most days, we rush through a litany of urgent to-do’s, that really aren’t all that important.We have the best of intentions, but then we have one more report that needs to be generated, one more basket of laundry that needs to be folded.

We forget to tell one another how much they mean to us.

We forget to squeeze extra hard when we hug each other good bye.

We forget to smile when our loved ones walk through the door.

My heart is heavy for the Rice family.  We are all diminished by the tragic, sudden loss of her youngest son, Wendel.

As we remember him, we vow that tomorrow, we won’t forget.

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