Sunday, September 5, 2010

4 Days

I have a huge respect for the men and women who serve in our military, but I honestly don't know how they do it.

My uncle is full time National Guard. Six years ago he was deployed to Iraq. Shortly after he left for training in Texas my grandfather died quite unexpectedly. A few months later, as his unit was in staging, days away from shipping out, my other uncle died after a very long and painful fight with cancer.

My uncle has been deployed again and has been gone most of the summer in training. He is coming home Wednesday night and shipping out to Afghanistan on Monday. He has four days to spend with his wife and kids. Four days to soak up all the love he can from his seven month old granddaughter who will be a small child by the time he returns.

Four days to see his mother, who was just told she probably won't live more than six more months without major invasive heart surgery, which she has already refused. At 84 and a severe diabetic, she probably wouldn't make it through the surgery and recovery. Doc said if she did have the surgery the recovery would be extremely difficult and would probably buy her a year or two.

How do you say goodbye to your mother in four days, knowing that it's the last one?

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