A mother remembers the days following the death of her soldier son, and other reflections.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Thomas would have been 27 today. I can't imagine what he would have been like as an adult man, making his way in the world after the Army--not for lack of imagination but because that is just too sad, not a place I want to go. Still, I read about his Army friends' lives on Facebook and I am glad that they are doing pretty well: raising families, going to school, working or, in one case, finishing up his time until retirement.
I did say we would buy a cake, but my husband seems to feel that it would be a bit morbid this year. I don't know. Thomas was not afraid of some pretty morbid humor--I think he'd be OK with it. Of course, he's not the one who would be eating the cake. I just wish he could be here while we frantically search for the 2 and 7 candles (we use numerals instead of little individual candles on all our cakes, recycling them or replacing them for every birthday--the "1"got a little short in the course of all the teenage birthdays).
On the other hand, I am happy to have found on Facebook, by way of Michael Yon's posts, a group called "wear blue: run to remember" which meets every Saturday near Fort Lewis (I know, I know, it's Joint Base Lewis-McChord now but it will always be Fort Lewis to me). I need to send for a shirt but other stuff keeps interfering. I just love the idea of running in memory of our fallen, something I did the year after Thomas was killed.
We went to the cemetery on July 4th and left a flag and some flowers. Unfortunately, it was very hot, very humid, and infested with gnats. We pretty much put the flowers in the vase and left. I'm not keen on getting my protein on the wing.
I will post a picture here (and maybe on facebook too) of the memorial plaque at Fort Lewis that I borrowed from someone else. We remember.
Edited later to add: We did end up buying an ice cream cake! No candles, but an awful lot of chocolate: