I have about half a dozen blog posts ready to go up to catch ya'll up on the grand adventures of Beanie Girl and the ups, downs, and in betweens of motherhood. Don't worry. They'll be posted soon enough. But tonight there is something more important going on.
On November first, a friend of mine lost her husband in a motorcycle vs car accident. She's a 34 year old mother of 4 young kids, one of which is special needs. No, the 21 year old driver wasn't drunk or on his phone... he just changed lanes without looking. Yes, the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, but helmets only do so much. Brain injuries too severe to come back from caused death.
Now, I always knew this gal family was special. Fun and rambunctious, they were always on the go. Excuses didn't seem to existas this Submariner's wife raised 4 young kids while getting her Master's degree and even then, went on to work with to help homeless Veterans find housing.
She chatted with me through buying our house while the Sailors were gone, workingon our foster license, helping me understand Submariner Wife life, and even after we parted ways, she inpressed me with her drive and unconventional parenting attitude. (One of her girls juat happens to play co-ed football and another is a cheerleader!)
It didn't surprise me to hear over 200 people visited him in the hospital over the 2 days he was there prior to organ donation. It didn't surprise me to hear they were donating his organs, or even that they had a plan for his passing. It's something we military spouses live with every single day. There is always a chance our loved one could not come home from a deployment, though we are lulled into security when they aren't 20,000 leagues under the Sea. Somehow on land they seem safer- indestructible. We know who is to take care of Beanie Girl or any future kids, if one of us passes. In fact, we have Plan A and Plan B and Plan C.
What struck me to the core is how his passing has brought together an already tight community.
For example, his daughter always wanted to score a touchdown. Not knowing that her dad was in peril yet, the other team (a KIDS league, mind you) conspired to help her score. Kifs can be incredibly unpredictable in the heat of a moment on a sports' feild. The best they could do was at least give her the ball and the opportunity to score. (Her dad was the assistant coach on the team, and they had been working towards that goal.) According to the final defender that was supposed to let her go, he didn't 'let' her... she flattened him! Her dad is no doubt smiling about that one...
The family is taken care of for meals for the next month, and I'm sure anything else as they figure out this new, unwanted, adventure.
But what struck me the most is the caliber of women I get to call 'friends' through this Sub life. I mean, yes, ALL of the stereotypes about military wives are true. I'm pretty sure I've met them all at one time or another. But I've also met people who continue to inspire, humble, and empower me. There is a reason why this gal made the cut. It's perhaps embodied in her reaction to the kid who hit her husband and changed her world in the blink of an eye.
She's mad as hell. (I mean, who wouldn't be?!) An accident like this would cost the kid his job in most cases in the Submarine world. Assuming this kid made a true error in judgment (which seems to be thencase as he's done EVERYTHING right regarding how to handle such an accident), he will have to live with the consequences. He, too, is a Navy Sailor, new to the area.
She sees that as punishment enough.
She sees that he has the capacity to turn this experience into the BEST OBJECT LESSON EVER of safe driving. She recognizes that this guy could lose livelyhood and NONE OF THAT would rewind time and change things.
She supports him.
She's a unicorn; I'm convinced.
Since hearing about this situation, I also heard of a high school schoolmate being gunned down in her hometown by no fault of her own (wrong place, wrong time)...
So these days, I hug my little family a little tighter, rush to judgement a little slower, and count myself blessed to have such amazing people cross my path.