Thursday, January 03, 2008

I notice that I tend to repeat myself occasionally, especially events that were packed with meaning for me. It may be that I'm trying for the Rashomon effect (getting seven different points of view on the same situation)--I just don't want to overlook any detail that could possibly be important. And, maybe more relevantly, I tend to not read back over what I've written before! I really should go back to read the beginning because I think that I've come a long, long way since I started this blog.

One thing that is going on currently however is the release of the movie "Grace is Gone" ( We've received notice by e-mail that the families of the fallen are invited to a reception and screening at the National Press Club downtown next week: I wouldn't mind going to the reception but every time I think about seeing the movie I burst into tears. [I just watched the trailer when I looked for the URL--I can't watch this movie in public, I can't even watch the trailer in my own kitchen. Which I guess means that it has a good chance of authenticity.] The producers seem to have consulted with a surviving family in making this and the e-mail came by way of TAPS ( I don't know what to do.

In April of 2005, it became apparent that we were going to need another car. Maria was home and commuting to classes at regular intervals, Richard was back at work, and I had to take my mother-in-law Edith around (she had stopped driving several months earlier) to the store and the doctors and of course the shopping. We had enough money to do this easily: I had remembered several months after Thomas's death that Richard and I actually had codicils on our own life insurance policies that would pay about $3,000 apiece upon the death of one of our children. It was meant for burial but, that having been taken care of by the Army, I put the money on a used Jetta instead. It got great mileage but I'm afraid I was the only one who sort of liked it in the end (too low for my mother-in-law to get in and out easily, the doors were heavy, and I kept scraping the front bumper on the little parking barriers). Alas, like a pair of shoes that you gradually realize you should have not bought, I came to realize over the next year and a half that this car was Too Small and would have to go. That April, however, I was just relieved to have wheels I wouldn't have to fight over!

I have talked before about Governor Ehrlich's private reception for the families of the fallen. It was held April 20th in Annapolis, a beautiful spring day. We took Edith, which brought us to six people, a good representation we thought. Some families had only two there, one of them had enough to fill a couple of rows of chairs (their loss was only about six weeks earlier and I was just amazed that they had been able to get there at all). We have a picture of that day which I'm afraid makes us all look so solemn--it really was not that good a picture of anyone. As I think I said earlier, it was just such a relief to meet the other families, including the three other families who'd lost their sons the same week as Thomas, the whole thing was worth it. We did exchange contact information with those families and with the Faulstitch family (Raymond had been killed in August of 2004). Somewhere I have my program from that day with several phone numbers written down.

Again, I thank Governor Ehrlich for hosting those receptions, and for supporting the families. I asked a favor a few months later and his office and staff bent over backwards to help--but I think more on that will appear later.

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At January 4, 2008 at 8:53:00 AM PST , Anonymous your Astoria friend said...

Hello Lee Ann,
I might have begun to talk about the movie you mentioned with you. I saw a preview on TV with a critic who thought John Cusack's portrayal of the widower was not true of how it would be. I was appalled that he thought he knew better. (and how dare he criticize one of my favorite actors! :) )
Over New Year's I saw "PS I Love You", a movie having nothing to do with soldiers, but a death of a loved one. It was tender, and brought tears, which I didn't want to share in the theater. I know others were affected as many ran to the rest room afterwards. Still, a movie I loved and has stayed with me until today 1/4.
Thoughts for you,

At January 4, 2008 at 5:22:00 PM PST , Blogger Lee Ann said...

Still thinking. I'll probably be considering this until around 3pm on Wednesday the 9th. The thought of seeing a movie on this subject in a theatre is kind of daunting too--if I do see it, I think being with the other families would be better. Thinking.

Lee Ann


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