Thoughts come easy, words don't. This month has been like none other in my life. I've watched strong Soldiers cry, wives mourn the loss of their husbands, mothers and fathers mourn the loss of their sons, siblings mourn the loss of their brothers, children mourn the loss of their fathers, and friends mourn the loss of great friends.
Death has a sting like none other. It forever leaves its mark on our lives. It scars our hearts and leaves us forever changed. It's something no one wants to face in life, but something we most assuredly will if we live long enough. Babies born just before daddy's departure to Afghanistan, or soon after, and those yet to be born will never know what it feels like to be held by them. They will only have pictures and stories told by others to cling to; not even a memory.
My mind has been filled with thoughts to the point of overflowing this last week as we mourned the loss of Soldiers in our own battalion. One was a friend, and someone my husband greatly misses downrange. He brought smiles, encouragement & company to my best friend. They prayed together and opened God's Word together. They talked about his unborn child and his sweet wife. When he was finally able to call out, I cried as he shared with me he had lost a good friend. Even now, it's hard for me not to cry about that loss, for war is already difficult and even more so when you lose a friend.
I will never forget the moment when it hit me who it was and that my friend, Sarah, had just lost the love of her life. I couldn't speak without crying as I shared with her what her Chaplain, my husband, wanted her to know. He had just married them 9 months prior.
Her strength and faith in God has been a testimony to us all. She smiles while others cry. She tells us she's praying for our husbands just moments after having said good-bye to hers. She is a woman we all admire and love.
Though it has been a difficult month, I've grown closer to many of our ladies in the battalion, and experienced things that only come through such tragedy. I've made many new friends, who I would not have known otherwise, that have touched my life beyond words. I've watched our Soldiers give it their all to honor their fallen brothers (even those wounded coming to the memorial & funeral), and experienced a new level of patriotism and honor. And for all this, and other reasons I still can't find the words to express, my life has been forever changed.
I will never forget those who gave their lives, nor stop praying for those who continue to honor them by continuing the mission set before them.