Saturday, July 31st 2010
Today the Army Man and I took our kids to Chuck E. Cheeses. The Army Man loathes it. Only the guilt of an imminent deployment could induce him to go. Afterward we met the in-laws at Outback Steakhouse for dinner. The Army Man thinks steak is better than any other substance on the planet.
At 8:30 pm I received a call from Papa (My Grandfather). He said, “I’ve got bad news for you TK. You’re Dad was killed today in a glider accident.”
I told Papa that he was wrong and it couldn’t be true. I couldn’t perceive how my world had changed so suddenly and irreparably. I knew what I had to do next Dad. I knew I had to call my siblings. I had a hard time convincing all of them that I was telling the truth. None of them wanted to believe either. I spent the rest of the night crying and trying to sleep.
Sunday, August 1st 2010
This morning the Army Man left for Afghanistan. The mighty wheels of the Army can’t stop turning. Not even in the wake of my shock and grief. The Army Man hugged me and said,” I’m sorry I have to leave and I’m so sorry about your Dad.” I spend the rest of the day talking to my siblings and doing laundry. No matter what we’ll always have each other, laundry.
Monday, August 2nd, 2010
It’s a miracle. I got the VIN on my car verified, I got the oil changed and I got new license plates. All in one day. Perhaps it was the manic gleam in my eye but people were really helpful today. Imagine that if you will. DMV and the word HELPFUL all in the same sentence. Later that night I sat down with Dude and Princess. Dad I finally had to tell them. I explained to them that you went to Heaven. I explained that a funeral is where we say goodbye to someone who we love. I asked them if they understood. They both said yes. I asked them, “So where is Grandpa?” Dude pumps his fist in the air and yells, “IN UTAH!”
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Today Dad everything in the Universe reminds me of you. From the color of my nail polish on my toes, to the lightening storm I can see on the horizon. I have a long drive ahead of me. I’m trying unsuccessfully not to think about you. I’ve been on the verge of crying all day. I want to wallow in my sorrow. I simply don’t have time. I arrive late at my sister Jennie’s house. I asked Jennie for details of your accident. How foolish of me. I wasn’t ready to hear that. I wasn’t ready to see the pictures of the wreck. Your beautiful sailplane is almost unrecognizable.
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Today is your viewing Dad. I don’t realize how difficult the next few hours are going to be. Jennie tried to warn me. I had no clue how reality was about to club me on the head. I met many of your friends and co-workers. I was hugged and cried on. I cried too. I comforted and was comforted by many people. I met the other couple that was flying with you that day Dad. They asked me if I was your daughter. I was paralyzed. I didn’t know my name. This is the couple that had last seen you alive. This is the couple who guided Emergency Services to the site of your crash. Jennie saw my distress and answered for me. Thank goodness for Jennie.
Thursday, August 5th 2010
The funeral service was beautiful. The choir sang ‘Going Home’ and ‘Precious Lord Take My Hand.’ Jennie and I spoke at the end of the service. We told funny and lighthearted stories about you. I know you don’t like the story about when you fell off of your bike, head first, in front of the Army Man. But we were all in need of some comic relief.
August 9th, 2010
I miss you. I hope to see you again one day in the eternities.
Love you always,