Not long after I married my husband, one of those military milestones in which he would be recognized was about to take place. His proud parents were going to fly in to attend the ceremony. A day or two before they were to leave, his mother called to say that her mother had passed away and clearly, they wouldn't be able to come. Not only that, but my husband wouldn't be able to fly home for the funeral. It was a terrible dilemma for my husband because plans were set in stone, and there was no way to delay the ceremony. What was supposed to be a happy occasion turned out to be bittersweet.
This weekend, we received devastating news. In the span of three hours, we learned of three deaths. Two of the three were people who were like family to both of us. They died on the same day, and we learned they would be buried on the same day, a thousand miles away from one another.
Normally, both of us would have attended both funerals and paid our respects. But on this occasion, we would have to split up. At least that's what I thought we would do. Unfortunately, there are times when the Army needs my husband no matter what is going on in his personal life, and this is one such occasion. If my husband were deployed, TDY or otherwise committed, I would have attended both funerals and represented both of us, but in this case, that would be impossible due to the timing and location of the funerals.
So off I go to one funeral. Neither of us will be at the other, and both of us will have heavy hearts tomorrow no matter where we are. In this case, there were no good choices and we went with the only option we had. That's just the way life is sometimes.
I had to laugh at the irony, though. With the exception of one time, each time there has been a crisis (hospitalization, death, etc.), it's happened when we were living about as far away as possible. Three years of living within two hours of family and nothing. Nada. Zilch. Which is great, nobody wants to deal with a crisis, but if one occurs, I sure would like to be close enough to get there quickly and help out. In life, not just military life, you have to play with the cards you're dealt.
Take a few moments today and write a card, send an email or call someone you love. Tell them that you love them. Tomorrow is a gift, but never a given.