The thing is, there's not much new here at Rancho Dleepow del Norte, so every time I've begun a post here, my internal dialog goes something like this:
"Who's gonna care what your stupid back yard looks like? Probably no one. I mean, how many times can you write about the way the trees look or the squirrel who has figured out how to circumvent the 'squirrel-proof' bird feeder or how much you love autumn in Portland?"
"Hmmm. Good point. I'll log out
And I leave Blogger and do some fantasy online shopping for a while.
But several of my friends have mentioned in email that they check the blog regularly and wonder if I'm okay (this is what happens when you're a life-long extrovert - silence implies disaster!), so I'm here to report that I'm doing as well as an almost-sixty-year-old women (gasp) with Multiple Sclerosis can do. The truth is, as I think about it, a lot has happened in the weeks since I posted here, but I'm not sure how much of it I can (1) remember and (2) seems worthy of sharing here.
One very recent event, however, is haunting me. I received an email from a friend/ex-colleague, letting me know that the 23-year-old son of another colleague had been killed in Afghanistan on November 9th. Twenty-three years old. My beloved son will turn twenty-three on his next birthday.
Sean, the young man who was killed this month, was married in January 2007. His wife will give birth to their child in February, 2008. And he's gone - killed while on patrol in Afghanistan, along with four of his fellow soldiers. Just - gone.
Can I tell you that this is a parent's worst nightmare?
When I first held my son, I was almost overwhelmed by the rush of love I felt for him. I'd never felt anything like that before, and could hardly believe how deeply I loved that tiny, red-faced little guy. I still love him like that - a deep, fierce, protective love that often feels overwhelming. I worry when he doesn't reply to emails (even though I remind myself that he's very introverted!) or when he doesn't call for a week or so. I cannot imagine living with the the unending fear that all the parents with beloved children in Afghanistan and Iraq must contend with each and every day. It is beyond heartbreaking.
Do you ever wonder how the President and his band of merry men sleep at night? I sure do.