Friday, October 26, 2012
this is where it begins
The thought of Christmas approaching makes my breath catch in in my throat. Thinking that far ahead - it's against my policy right now. One foot in front of the other. One step. then just one more. and remember to breathe.
The days have been filled this way - a step at a time. Sometimes the steps bring weird moments of joy, and other times intense and overwhelming sadness. I can't recount the days, sometimes I feel as though I've slept through them. Going through the motions.
The time spent in the states for the funeral went quickly, we were only gone a week. We stayed at Rob's mom and step-dad's house, in the same hometown where Rob and I grew up, went to school, met, and were married. It is also the same hometown where Sarah was born. The kids and I toured the town and I showed them the places where their Dad and I once tread. Schools, churches, childhood homes, old jobs, etc. It was comforting being able to share those things with them, but at the same time heart-wrenching because I could see him EVERYWHERE. Trying to teach me to drive stick, working 2nd shift, drinking coffee at our favorite hangout..........
The visitation and funeral brought so many familiar faces: family, friends, co-workers, strangers...... The Patriot guard was there, they presented me with a plaque. They stood outside with flags during the entire time we we were at the church, escorted our procession to the cemetery, and stayed during the ceremony at the graveside. Pastor Sadler, who was our Pastor here in Germany for almost 5 years, performed the service and it was beautiful, very fitting and well-worded. He knew Rob well and it showed in his words. The ceremony at the cemetery was a full-honors military burial, which I have never witnessed before. It was well-done by an honor guard from Scott AFB in Illinois. It was a very moving tribute for our hero, the Air Force may not have defined Rob's life but he fully believed in its core values and served his country willingly, proudly, and with dignity. The reception was nice, held in the church that Rob went to as a child, and that his mom still attends. For me it was a very surreal experience watching different areas of my life converge. There was family, of course, but also friends from High School, friends from my time and Whiteman, and friends from my time in Germany.
The hardest part of the week was knowing how much Rob would have enjoyed hanging out with all those people, showing his kids all those old haunts, or running in the neighborhood where he grew up.
We got back to Germany on Tuesday, adjusted well, and today was the memorial service at the chapel hosted by Rob's squadron. It was very well done and Rob was posthumously awarded the meritorious service medal. The people that spoke all recounted Rob as quiet, sincere, loyal, and hardworking. An article ran today's local base paper written by Rob's commander and it said a lot of what he spoke about at the memorial. you can read it HERE.
Since we have been back my dog has gotten ill, my computer died (no kidding, it won't even turn on), my washing machine is making a weird noise, my AFN decoder quit working, AND a rock flew up and cracked my windshiled. It's reassuing to know that, yes - still a Murphy. Don't worry, we'll be okay and we have a support system in place - but I wanted to post some pictures taken back in WI and can't because my main computer is not working, so I thought I would explain why.
Tomorrow, with all services and memorials behind us, we start the insurmountable task of continuing on from here.
What will that look like? How will we do that? stay tuned.....................