A mother remembers the days following the death of her soldier son, and other reflections.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I left us at Fort Lewis in October of 2005. Following that lunch, the guys went back to their work and we moved on to the Tacoma Mall, a place I had spent a lot of time (and money) at as a teenager. Anna had to return to Maryland to go back to work the next day and Maria had decided to go with her as she had school, so they had booked a flight on a red-eye which involved first going to San Francisco and then across the country. Richard and Matthew and I were going to spend a couple of days at my sister's and fly home on Sunday. We got the girls to the airport and drove our rental car up to Mt. Vernon (Washington) to my sister's that evening.
I should have written all of this down at the time because, memory being what it is, I have now forgotten what we did for dinner that evening. I know that the next day, Friday, we took the ferry to Port Townsend from Anacortes. Port Townsend is historic and quaint, a worthy goal, and luckily the sun was shining, but it was windy and that ferry crossing was rough. Matthew looked none too happy about the motion of the boat. Nonetheless, we got there in one piece and found a very nice restaurant with a view of the water for lunch. Following lunch, I met one of my internet friends, Ann Marie, to sit and drink coffee for a very pleasant hour. (As a result of this conversation, I was able to pack up our vast collection of Lego blocks when I got home and send them to her for her kids with strict instructions to wash them first--they were extremely dusty!)
I know this sounds kind of dull and normal, but frankly dull and normal was exactly what I needed. It had been a very, very emotional day at Fort Lewis and just doing every day stuff was a great relief.
I have remembered something from the memorial ceremony at Fort Lewis that I cannot believe I forgot to mention. At the ceremony, Adam Plumondore's Aunt Lisa, who lives in Oregon, handed me a paper gift bag. In it, from her and Adam's mother and Laurie, were a number of fabric pieces, outdoor and patriotically themed, meant to go into a quilt someday. We didn't really speak (the ceremony started) and I have always been sorry that we didn't have a chance to visit.
Further, I never did photograph the shadow box. I will try to do that now and post it.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Because life is never straightforward, I have neglected this for a month. I've been housing my mother-in-law while she recovers from broken ribs and driving other people to various doctor appointments. I've been doing PTA business which reminds me of an odd intersection with our status as a Gold Star family. Apparently, the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps group) has decided to grace Montgomery County with its presence in April, picketing a local high school named for Walt Whitman. I believe the consensus is that we, as a PTA certainly, will ignore them. They are also planning to visit Arlington National Cemetery which I find appalling. I can't bring myself to read their website (I had a glimpse) so I'm going on the reading of others. These people are beyond crazy but I guess we can be grateful to them for the formation of the Patriot Guard. The Patriot Guard folks I've met have all been wonderful. If I ever find the patch they gave us, I'll scan it and post it here.
OK, I've written a little. Tomorrow I will try to write a little more, going back to my main theme of remembering.