Five years ago today they brought Micheal home to us. Standing in that hangar as they unloaded the flag draped casket he laid in was probably the worst moment of our lives. The hope of there being a mistake was gone and the full impact of his death hit us all in that moment. There is no words to describe the pain and anger of that moment. It still haunts me. The pain of it still tears at my very soul.
So today I went to work like every other day pushing to the back of my mind the memory of that moment. I sat in my car for a couple minutes before going in to put my “game face” on. So I walked in with my smile and let’s do this attitude. About half way my shift a gentleman in a “Retired Army” hat sat at one of my tables. I shook his hand and thanked him for his service as I do with all veterans I meet.
“You must be military, I only get thanked by military usually.” (sad commentary but wise man)
“No sir, I never served, I’m just an Army Mom.”
“Thank your son for me.”
” Yes Sir”
I went on to take the order and serve their food and chat with them as I do with all those I serve. But as he was leaving this man asked me if my son was home.
“They brought him home to me 5 yrs ago today sir.” I think I choked a little as I spoke the words but I smiled and wished him a nice afternoon… he took about 3 steps when my words hit him. He turned around and gave me a small half salute and nod. I smiled back, nodded and put my game face back in place.
It was not till I sat down for the evening that it has all hit me. And I am proud of myself because I did pretty well today at holding it together, all things considered.