This weekend DH and I attended the 2007 MilBlog Conference in Arlington, VA (along with some of the other SB authors). It was a BLAST... and emotional beyond words.
Back in April, LMT wrote a post about relating to military widows. It is not an easy topic to discuss, but I want to briefly share an experience I had this weekend that I know will forever be imprinted in the hearts of those who attended.
A wonderful man named Robert lost his son in Iraq about two years ago. He gave a brief speech at the conference. His speech was not about the death of his son, but about the LIFE of his son. Those in attendance were all moved to tears.
Later on I approached Robert and thanked him for the "gift" of his speech. Then I cried and told him "I don't even know what to say." He put his arm around me and told me that was okay. We talked about 30 minutes or so, and in that conversation he said something that may shed some light on the sometimes uncomfortable situtaions we find ourselves in when we meet someone who has a family member that gave their life in the name of freedom...
He said,"The day that people STOP asking me about my son, is a day I never want to happen."
I wanted to share this experience and what Robert said to me to let you know that family members WANT us to ask about their loved one who died while serving their country. I know I worry about asking because I don't want to "dredge up" sadness and pain. But what Robert said to me is that the pain and sadness would be worse if we don't ask.
I will never forget that conversation with Robert and the life of his son that he shared with us that day.