Yesterday morning our family was hit hard when we were notified that my 85 yr old Nana had been in a car accident and things were not looking good. Within 15 minutes of our arrival at the hospital the Doctor came and told us that she was gone.
I know that I have been hard on Drill Sgt's. here on this blog but today I want to say Thank You. The Red Cross was notified around 4:00 pm yesterday and we were told that they would pass the message to Christopher within 24 hours. Chris was and will always be his Nana's boy. My boys are the only great grandchildren and Nana thought the sun rose and sat on them. She was so proud of her Soldier and made sure that everyone she met knew that her boy was in the Army.
At 9:30 last night my phone rang. I knew immediately it was Chris, but without caller ID, I never would have recognized the voice that came through the phone. His voice has deepened, he no longer sounds like a 19 year old kid, now he sounds like a man. His concern for me was his first thoughts and the maturity that he possessed was unbelievable.
Chris told me that the DS that broke the news to him talked to him like a human being not just a recruit. He said that he was told to call home immediately and to take his time on the phone and that he could also call his dad. The DS gave him a phone number to pass on to us and while I was talking to Chris, my husband called the number and spoke with the 1st Sgt. He was very helpful and said that as soon as the arrangements are made we are to call them back and they will make all of Chris' travel arrangements to get him home for the funeral. He assured Mo that Chris would not miss anything important and that coming home would not affect any timeline that he is on.
I do not know how long they will give Chris but we had already determined that we would encourage Chris to make this a fast turnaround. I know that they have a big field march on Thursday and if at all possible I will encourage Chris to be back in time for it.
It was so important to Nana that Chris was following his dream that she would not stand for him to fall behind. Chris teased Nana all the time because he had been taller than her since he was about 11. It wasn't hard she was barely 5 ft tall and he is at least 6' 3" but she would tell him quick that it didn't matter she was still his Nana and she would "turn him over her knee" if she needed to. I can see her now putting that tiny foot down and pointing her finger as she said Carry on Soldier, complete your mission and make me proud.
I also want to thank Christi who is Christopher's step mom for insisting that she get the picture that is posted above of Chris and Nana at Chris' going away party. Thank you Christi, we will treasure this always.