Timing is everything

The email notice flashed into a pop-up window on my monitor and I thought, yep, it's that time -- let's get the keys and head over to the Support Center.

An evening ago, or maybe two or three, I wandered into our Family Support Center with the intent to sit in the corner and listen to the discussion from new-to-the-military husbands and wives, as they try to learn a bit more about those things available to them on our installation. 

I'm spotted and asked if I too, could make an impromptu presentation about the virtual world we're in (me?  discuss virtual worlds?  I'm like, of the last century, you know?) and maybe a bit about this phenomenon we all know and love, called SpouseBUZZ.  It was a great evening, and maybe later, we can talk about some of my observations and about how many folks I put to sleep ....

But when it was over and as I was backing out of parking to head home ... the most unexpected thing happened ...

It was a cool evening with clear skies here in the mountainous west, so rather than using the A/C I put my windows down for the drive back home, and as I backed out of my parking place, it happened.

TAPS sounded.  It was 2100 hours.  I instinctively pulled-up, dimmed my lights, and stopped.

Ever so slowly, I turned and realized I was next to a very special place -- there they were, thirty or forty tiny bright lights that highlight the memorial to the fallen warriors that were from our installation.  No one else was around, no others cars coming or going.  It was just me, all of these bright lights, the stoic, black marble with the engraved names, a cool breeze in my window, ... and TAPS playing in my ears.

I couldn't help it -- the tears welled up and I looked at those shining, bright lights.  The melodious tones of a single bugle playing a respected tune, calling us home.  And engraved on the black marble, the names of our fallen ...

For that moment, I realized for the millionth time, the sacrifices made by the women and men of our Armed Forces is high.  And in return for those who've given their all, we give them their name on black marble, and strive to give them their own bright and shining light for all the world to know, ... we have not forgotten.  That's when it struck me -- it was the evening before National POW/MIA Day ...

It had been to that point a pretty ordinary day followed by an evening of welcoming new folks into our spouse world.  But in those 45 seconds in the parking lot, I suddenly realized how our way of life was over for some while it was just beginning anew for those I'd just met.  And I was on my way home to my warrior, who was probably already asleep readying for the next days tasks.  Awake, she can be a force to reckon with, but asleep she's calm, quiet and beautiful.  Someday, some how, she too may have a bright light shining in a memorial to our combat losses with her name on a cool stone, but for now, she has my warm arms and got a bear hug that she didn't see coming.  I knew timing was everything and once each moment passes by it can't be recovered. 

When you next hear the notes of TAPS, remember those for whom we have yet to account.  And closer to home, know that those notes are signaling the end for some but the beginning for many more.  Timing is everything and it's amazing what can go through your mind in 45 seconds ... O&O, MaintenanceToadOne

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