It was such a surprise because it seems like the only time the house phone rings is when it's a telemarketer calling the "wrong number". Hearing his voice made me melt into the couch.
We talked about PFC Hess, the soldier we lost so recently.
I told Gary that I remember him saying his name a couple times, but couldn't place him. Turns out, Hess had been in our house. I'd spoken with him. He was such a nice guy.
He came over because he was about to move into a house near ours, and just wanted to get a rough idea of what the layout was like. He was completely polite, very friendly, and loved Jake. He was a good guy.
It strikes a different chord when you realize that the individual you were mourning was, in fact, a person with which you had had a pleasant conversation. Right now, I'm starting to feel bad that I hadn't realized just who he was, but I can't undermine the fact that it was an honest mistake.
Gary told me what he knew of this man's last week. I don't think it's appropriate to share the information, with posterity and respect in mind, but it will serve a purpose here. It will reignite our beliefs that life is a gift.
Gary and I have always been really good about that. We've been pretty solid at living in the moment, and telling one another exactly how we feel, because we never know if that last time was thee last time. Well, it's important to say how you feel just for the sake of saying how you feel for that person. That's reason enough. And, we like to live by that.
It's important to know that gratitude is exactly what we should be feeling each time our soldiers step back onto U.S. soil. It's important to use deployment as a chance to realize, or remind us, that putting things in perspective is essential.
So, I'm going to live, and grow, from this. I'm going to be more grateful than I ever have been (and, I'd like to think that's saying a lot) that I got to hear my husband's sweet voice. That, maybe, we were reminded just how important it is to stay safe, both here and overseas. That spending hundreds of dollars on phone cards is not only NOT a waste of money, but gives us that warm-gooey feeling that'll help us sleep better at night. That my husband is a gift that I will never take for granted.
So, ladies (and gents, I supposed :-) ), let's be grateful our loved ones are still here. Let's mourn the loss of our unit's soldiers, may they rest in peace, and then head to the post office to send a surprise package to our husbands in the sandbox. Let's lift their spirits.
Let's live. Let's love.