Monday, March 11, 2013

Catching Up, early 2013

Well, it's been a while.  People kept getting sick and then I got sick with something like flu but apparently not flu as the people in the emergency room tested me for that when I got Richard to drag me in one fine day in January.  Nothing like IV fluids and antibiotics though to perk things right up--though January does not seem like a good month for me and germs.  In February, we went to Rome for a week which always seems to take three times as much time as the actual trip--a week to prepare, a week away, a week to readjust to the right time zone and do the laundry.  And here we are, already on the 11th of March!

I had promised to write a bit about my wounded warrior and the trip to Wreaths Across America. In the interests of protecting his privacy, no names, but he had lost both legs below the knees, and a finger.  He had a lot of family support, including his fiancee and brother who went with us.  I got us into Arlington and to Section 60, where we unloaded his wheelchair (though he was able to walk some) and waited for the unloading of the wreaths.  I pretty much left them to their own devices (which I think they preferred) and walked around visiting the graves of my friend's sons and one of my son's friend.  I sought out the group marker from the funeral I had attended in September--still no permanent marker.  I ended up engaging in a long conversation with Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice who, along with his wife and the wife of Justice Samuel Alito, had come to the event.  I talked some with other families.  We were there for a couple of hours, placed the wreaths and then it was time to leave as our soldier had tired.  He revived in the car as they began to make plans to go out to lunch and I ended up dropping them at the metro station so they could go out.

And here is where I am glad it was me that did this.  My husband's brother was in a wheelchair for 40 years as the result of a car accident that had left him unable to walk.  Over the many years, I'd gotten used to the idea of hauling a wheelchair in my car, remembering to take off the footrests so it would fit better in the back and not being embarrassed when we had to struggle a bit to get it out of the car again.  I could tell this family it was OK, we'd manage.  It was a little difficult emotionally all around, but we did it and I think it was good for all of us.

And today, another Deuce Four guy is being buried in Washington State.  He was killed in a car accident in Montana but his family lives around Tacoma apparently.   All I know about him comes from the memorial page from the funeral home, but he was born in 1984 like Thomas, and his middle name was Thomas, he even looked a bit like my Thomas.  His funeral is at 11 PDT and I'm finding that knowing this brings up a lot of emotion.  So, every time I wonder if I'm getting hardened to his loss, I find out that the grief is still there, lurking around under the surface just waiting for an opening.