For whatever reason, I have been having the following cravings intensely: BBQ & all the trimmings, Korean food, Thai food, beer, and unfrosted cupcakes. Yeah. Oh - and bourbon.
The neighbor I mentioned (Matt) that just moved is leaving for Iraq this evening for his 4th tour of duty. He drove down to Florida last night to meet up with his group, and is flying out this evening at 9PM. He has no family here, being that he is originally from Boston. He made no mention of friends in Florida or anyone coming down from Massachusetts to see him off this evening. Ever since I said goodbye to him, I have been consumed with sadness. He's another soldier I have to suffer leaving us again, and without the ceremonious send off he deserves. He's planning on coming back here in 6 months to Fort Benning, and with any luck we'll see him again. So today I am having a blue day.
I'm also sad because my friend Paige's father is very ill and not expected to live much longer. Jerry is a fine man, and I think very highly of him. He's in Florida now to be closer to his eldest daughter but Paige is here where we live. Well, technically two towns over, but whatever. Anyway, she's taking it especially hard because this Easter - when the family gets together - it may well be the last time her children see their grandfather alive, and she sees her own father. I talked to her earlier, and with any luck I'll see her soon so we can work on stiffening her resolve and getting her better prepared for what she faces next month. I've already decided that if or when either of my parents get sick and in a similar situation, I will be the one taking care of them. I want to for three reasons. First, I will not trust anyone else to do it, and I have a medical background in caring for the elderly and infirmed. Second, I want to spare my brothers and sisters the agony of everything involved in caring for a terminally ill parent. I've already experienced it in the patients I cared for, and with their families I counseled before, during, and afterward - so I already have a realistic approach to it. Third, it will be my means of coping with all of it. I know it is a bridge I have to wait to cross, but my mind is made up already about it.
Tonight I have decided is a comfort food kind of night. I'm making the famous cube steak with gravy over rice, field peas, and fried okra. D is on call this week, and they're really giving him hell. The pages start in the evening just before bedtime, and they keep at it all hours of the night. Luckily he can work from the laptop here, and can get back to bed before too long. With any luck they'll give him a break tonight, and we can enjoy an evening together without too much distraction.