A Conglomerate of Emotions

This past weekend was filled with a mixture of emotions.

We were still kind of celebrating the fact that the Army is giving Michael the opportunity to attend the Sergeants Major Academy and be promoted to the rank of E9 as a Sergeant Major!!  We really were pleasantly surprised to see his name on the list.  He has been in the Army now for over 25 years, so we were just thinking that it was not going to happen and that he’d retire at 27 and we were kind of already preparing for that.  So, we kind of celebrated here at home with my homemade enchilada dinner, complete with borracho beans!  It was quite yummy and needless to say, we all enjoyed it.  Friday night’s emotions:  GRATEFULNESS and JOY!!

Saturday evening we had the honor of attending a beautiful, very well-put-together retirement dinner and dance of a soldier who worked with Michael!  There was a slideshow of her, her co-workers and her family from throughout the past 23 years.  There were speeches, toasts and all around great fun!  People spoke great words about this soldier and she was awarded her last award at this dinner.  I didn’t know her personally, but it was clear that she had been a top-notch soldier and was a wonderful person!  It was a beautiful celebration and a great time!!

In the adjacent ballroom (separated by an accordion wall) was a 75th Birthday Celebration for a woman.  Throughout part of the evening, it was as if the music from both ballrooms were in competition (this is something to keep in mind when planning an event).  However, into the evening, it became noticeably quiet over there and then we were asked to take a moment of silence.  Apparently, the woman they were celebrating collapsed on the dancefloor of a heart attack.  I have no idea if she lived or not, because everyone over there left hours before the party was scheduled to end.  I checked the obituary for the name that I remembered seeing on the the placard, and I didn’t see it.  I’m hoping that she is now back at her house with her family and doing much better!  Although, I was very glad that this woman was surrounded by her friends and family, I’m was sad that the collapse may cloud the memories of what was supposed to be a great celebration!  Saturday night’s emotions:  HAPPINESS and GLOOMY

Sunday started off as a regular Sunday.  We all got ready because there was a parent meeting at Lorenzo’s Confirmation Class.  Here we were able to find out the date of his Confirmation and we were excitedly talking about it.  After the meeting, we went to have breakfast before going to Mass at 1115.  As we were finishing up our breakfast, Michael received a phone call.  He was being informed that one of his soldiers had died in a motorcycle accident earlier that morning (like an hour before).  He was obviously shaken up by this news.  So, we left to go to the scene of the accident, so that he could talk to the others who were with him and find out exactly what happened.  He was met there by the 1st Sgt and their Capt.

We saw the mangled motorcycle on the road and it was like a hit in the gut.  We also saw his sheet-covered body on the side of the road and quickly said a prayer for him and his family.  Apparently this soldier really enjoyed riding his motorcycle.  Michael talked to him every week, reminding him to ride slowly and just enjoy the ride.  Michael had just spoken with him again last Thursday.  Lorenzo and I waited in the truck while Michael talked with the others.  After a while, we left and decided that we’d just pick Michael up from work later.

They were able to get some information from the police officers on the scene as well as the other riders who were with him at the time of the accident.  If there is any consolation to his death, at least all those who knew him know that he died doing what he loved doing the most–riding his motorcyle.  And it was known that he LOVED riding on Transmountain Hwy.  I just pray that if any good comes from his death, that perhaps the other young riders who were with him and saw his gruesome death, that this would cause them to slow down and always ride cautiously!!

Specialist David Mulno was 23 years old and from a small town in Massachusetts.  He leaves behind his parents, a younger sister who is to start college this Fall and many uncles, aunts and cousins who will miss him terribly.  Never before have I ever known about the death of anyone before his own family knew.  Throughout the day, I kept saying little prayers for them.  I couldn’t even imagine the confusion his mother (and the rest of his family, however being a mother, I empathize more with her) must have felt to see THE car drive up to her house.  Afterall, her son was not at war.  His job at this duty station was to handle the mail.  There’s no reason at all to think that his life was in danger!!  I could not even fathom the sadness, grief and despair she must have felt as they gave her the news that, in fact, her only son was dead.

Throughout the day, I’d look at the clock and think, “I wonder if she knows yet?”  Then I’d say a little prayer.  The rest of the day was kind of on autodrive.  I did things that needed to be done around the house, I made dinner for the family but all the while my thoughts and heart were with David’s family.  Praying for them and hoping that they had the faith and strength to get them through this horrible time.   Please keep this family in prayer during their time of sorrow!  Sunday’s emotion:  SADNESS

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