I have about two weeks left in the Air Force now.
Things are winding down and I am in this netherworld — not really here and not really gone.
Suddenly outside my office is an apparition from Balad. I have seen this smiling face so often over the last two years during good times, hard times and VERY BAD times. Usually her face is in a photo or in a memory or in a thought. Every once in a while, she graces my office with her real, live face. I cherish those visits.
Today’s visit may be the last for quite a while but I somehow know that she will show up again at my door when I least expect it. I do not think of this as a good-bye.
We caught up on our lives, events, trials, tribulations and joys. It was just as if we were sitting in that ICU in the desert of Iraq. We were just continuing a conversation we had dropped for a moment. Toward the end of our chat I mentioned that as my life goes on I will never forget her or all the others we met and worked with at 332 EMDG/ICU. “You are a part of my brain. All of you are a part of my brain.”
True. However I should have ALSO said, “You are a part of my heart. You ALL are a part of my heart forever.”