Sometimes the heart breaks into a million little pieces

My phone just rang at work and it was my mom in Tallahassee. I could tell something was terribly wrong when I heard her voice. My cousin Renee has two boys both of whom are on active duty in Afghanistan. Last night, her oldest son was killed in an attack on their tent which caught fire from an explosive device and apparently killed all the men inside. I can’t tell you how it makes my heart hurt to think about the profound grief Renee and her parents are going through. It will be about a week they said before they are able to get his body home, and her younger son will accompany him on the trip.

I remember meeting Anthony last year when we went to Tallahassee. He seemed like such a really good guy, very personable, great sense of humor, somebody you enjoyed being around. I remember how Renee hugged him – the love for her son and her joy at having him home a short while was palpable. And now he is gone, too, too soon.

Mom broke down crying when she started remembering what it felt like when her brothers were away at war and she worried about them every day. And I can deal with almost anything in the world – except hearing my own mother cry. It is killing me right now that I’m not there to hug her and reassure her and just let her know that she is not alone.

Oh, this is never the way I want to start a day ….