Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to life, back to reality....

One fantastic weekend down in the record books. I cannot thank the Conners enough for their support and love regardless of if they knew they were giving it or not. I am not going to lie, the first night I was there I was doubting that I should be there. I wasn't sure if I was ready for it, but as the weekend progressed the fear and sadness I had turned into amazement and love. This is such a strong family, so resiliant and so caring of others. I had such a good time getting to know them all and finally putting pieces of the puzzle together. Pieces I didn't realize I was even missing. Cyndi asked me today while she was driving me back to the airport why it was that I came out... was I reporting back to anyone when I got back to tell them how they were doing? Did I feel like I had to come out? Was it an obligation I had? And while I didn't have an answer the answer was no. I felt no obligation to come out, I have never felt like I had to, and I certainly don't need to report to anyone how they are doing. I did some thinking on the flight home and really all I know is that almost immidiately after I was blown up and seeing Brad dead the first thing I thought of was his wife and kids. I didn't know them at all. I had met Cyndi briefly once at work and had seen the kids, I don't think I ever talked to them. But my heart was broken for them, I couldnt' make sense of it all. Here I am no wife no kids, yes I have a family, mom dad and sister whom I love very much but why did he have to die? Which to say this out loud is strange.... why am I arguing that i am still alive? What is it that I haven't done in my life yet? These are questions I have had for myself among others over the past 3 years. But back to the story, I was hurt yes, but this family had lost their husband and father. I never really knew Brad on a personal level, but he treated me like a person not like alot of other Seargent Majors who are more worried about the fickle things... He was different. He led from the front, cared about his troops, and would try to help anyone and everyone. So by me getting to know his family over these 3 years has given me some insight as to the whole person not just my boss. He was a man that was compasionate about life and helping others. He loved his family above all, and they adored him in return. I could see that this past weekend how much he meant to them all. I can not even begin to imagine the pain, suffering and self torment that all of them have gone through. Its no where near what I have felt, and yet there is just something that drives me to them. I had to go there, I had to meet them, to know them... scared or not I was determined to do it. And I did, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made in a while. So to answer the question, I think that if I were in the same situation.... as in I was killed, I would really hope that someone would take the time one of my friends or fellow soldiers to make the trip to get to know my family, to help them as much as they help that person. Its the little things that mean so much, the fact that these 3 kids have never met me in person and I have only briefly spoken to them on the internet a couple times, and for them to just accept me in to the family and act like themselves. To want me to be a part of their daily routine was so heartfelt I hardly have words for it. Rachel the youngest asked when i was leaving.... I told her and she said " aw... that stinks, you have only just been here 2 full days and you are awesome, I don't want you to go yet." And while I don't have a lot in common with a 15 year old girl Katie was able to talk to me about stuff and I let her talk. Aaron was the only one who had a couple questions about Brad, but I was more than happy to give him the answers to the best of my knowledge. And Cyndi and I were able to just talk, and unwind. I had a great time hanging out with her, she has done such a good job raising the kids. I am so glad that this weekend happened and I can't wait till it happens again.

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