My husband received a call from Baghdad a couple of weeks ago. His friend, a National Guardsman, brought bad news. His mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We've known this family for many years and were lucky enough to be stationed near them for five of those years. We've watched their kids grow up. My husband coached their son in little league. They are a wonderful family.
I spoke with Susan (we'll call her) the other day. "Helpless" is the best word to describe how she's feeling. Her husband is deployed, they do not have family nearby and her kids are in school and they need her. A few hundred miles and several state lines are separating Susan from her dying mother. It's a terrible dilemma. We offered to take the kids on the weekends so she can go be with her mother.
Susan's husband is due home from his tour in a few weeks, but her mother may not last that long. A race against the clock, all the way around. Tough stuff. Susan, in typical milspouse fashion, managed a laugh. "It always happens like this, doesn't it?"
Yes, it does...