Friday, October 28, 2011

What Happened?

I hope to be back soon with another Five Question Friday-- if anyone wants to take part, I hope you'll drop me a line in comments and I'll let you know how to participate and share your Five Questions.  If you have questions about the military, or about being a military spouse, feel free to post those as well.

In the meantime, today's post--

What Happened?

She looked familiar,walking across the parking lot. The two women with her, sniping at each other and all but ignoring her-- could those be her daughters?  Really, how could that be her?

She seemed so much older. Even allowing for the intervening years I would have vastly overestimated her true age.

I'll admit...I did not stop. I did not put a hand to her shoulder and say her name. I did not, on a day when it was obvious the years had been kind to me, want her to see pity or sadness in my eyes when I looked at her. 

What happened, between then and now, that brought her pain enough to only shuffle as she walked? 

What happened, to etch those lines on her face? Her shoulders bent, her pallor not only from the gray outdoors... 

What happened?

I know, when we worked together, that her husband was nearing retirement from the Army.  I know he had one more deployment to finish, then he would PCS to another location for a year and then they could be a family again.  Together.

I know she waited for that day.  I also know she was nervous about it.  Nervous about him getting a job after retirement.  Nervous about learning to be a family again.  There are so many factors that go into creating a new life after deployments.  There are millions more that pop up after a Soldier retires.

So again, I wonder tonight.  What happened?  Did he come home safe?  How is her son?  Are they a family again?   I say a prayer for her-- for her health to improve, for her daughters to respect the mother I know she has always tried to be, and for her Soldier.  

Whatever happens.

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