Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Random things today. The days immediately following the funeral are a bit of a blur, not surprisingly, and a lot has been happening in the world at large.

It's tax season. I have been not-so-diligently using TurboTax to fill out our forms: I always worry that when I actually file, we'll be heading off to jail. Or to big fines. Or something. This stuff is opaque to me but I fill out the forms as honestly as possible. Thomas only filed taxes for two years 2002 and 2003 since he never worked in high school (you can take that a couple of ways). Actually, when we got his papers, we discovered that in fact he'd never gotten around to filing for 2003--it was all filled out, he owed a tiny bit but didn't have checks even though he had a checking account, so he never sent it in! That was my boy. We did get all of that straightened out with both the feds and the state of Maryland when we filed his 2004 return but it was the one and only time my husband has ever tried to figure out tax forms. I just couldn't face the bureaucracy. Richard is excellent at facing bureaucracy and achieving his goals. Anyway, with luck I'll be done with the whole 2006 challenge by the end of the week. It is weird to have investment earnings to report, and it's all because of Thomas's decisions to join the Army, to take the highest level of life insurance . . . I have very mixed feelings about using the money but I know that's what he wanted us to do if it ever came to it.

And in the news is the story of a peace march in Washington on Saturday. Who chooses St. Patrick's Day for a peace march? (This mystery is solved--and it was probably not a mystery to anyone but me--the war in Iraq started on March 17. You would think I would remember this.) Regardless, a counter-march in support of the troops has been planned. I have no intention of going to either one but The Washington Times did have a poignant paragraph about the mother of a fallen airman: she has been traveling across the country with military families and thinks the trip is beneficial because of "the opportunity it provides to bond with other military family members who have lost loved ones in the war. 'It's a trip I've really wanted to go on,' she said."

Why should we have to search for each other? It took me a few months to realize how important it was for the families to talk with each other and no one seems to be making an organized effort to put the families in touch. (There are organizations like TAPS which does come close and the Gold Star Mothers which you have to contact yourself.) I talk with two Maryland moms frequently, a couple of others occasionally, and e-mail Laurie in Oregon in flurries. They've been keeping me sane. Maybe I've helped keep them sane. We need each other, we can help each other, we are our own best resource. It would be really nice if the military could recognize that.

Maybe I'll have to go after all. Drat.


At March 18, 2007 at 4:41:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I do need you Lee Ann and am blessed by that!
thinking of you,
Laurie, Chase's mom

At March 23, 2007 at 7:43:00 PM PDT , Blogger Jason said...

Mrs. D....

I was wondering about the money thing. I often think about it in my own life, and I have a detailed will to make sure certain things are done. It has to be uncomfortable at times, but I'm sure Thomas is happy about any financial decisions you make.

Still I like to think that it would bring a smile to my face every time somebody writes a tuition check with "Jason's Money".

At April 3, 2007 at 7:15:00 PM PDT , Blogger Lee Ann said...

Jason, I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that Thomas, who hated paperwork, never wrote a will but he did make sure that we knew before he left for Iraq about the life insurance--for simplicity he just put his father's name down but then he worried my feelings would be hurt! He knew we would be making any decisions together though, which I guess is a tribute to our marriage and the level of trust we all felt.

I know he would be pleased that his money has paid his sister's tuition and made life somewhat easier for us. We are trying to do our best to be good stewards.

Mrs. D


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