in that which I cannot see
that one can change-- truly change
What is hard to believe is how quickly life goes by. Three years ago today the world changed. Tears fell and hearts wept... Brett's cousin was killed while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A1C Eric M. Barnes went to be with the Lord three years ago today.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday. We got a call- early. Brett and I were enjoying one of our final days sleeping in and rolling around leisurely in bed. I was 9 months pregnant with B. I had lost my job one week prior. Eric had been killed. Shock. Disbelief. True heart ACHE. We hurried off to be with our family. All gathered on Brett's aunt and uncle's front lawn. So many gathered. Family, friends, teens, adults, and tiny tots. Eric was gone.
It's still so sobering to think about.
If you have ever met Eric's parents or his brother then you have had the privilege of meeting strength, courage, love and hope in the flesh. They are amazing. I want to be like Eric's Mom in so many ways. She is a pillar of strength, yet vulnerable to her emotions and compassionate to others at all times. She rests in the arms of Christ, in the faith that her firstborn is also-- just as I type-- resting safely in the arms of Jesus.
I wish I would have gotten to know Eric better. His legacy lives on always. Each year on the anniversary of his death, we will celebrate his LIFE. Just as we did tonight. Family, friends, adults, and lil tots gathered to celebrate- hug, laugh, and cry. As I nursed L in the family's living room, surrounded by red, white and blue, eagles, photos of Eric, and American flag clad decor, I couldn't help but to weep.
Forget the P90x diet. Tonight I enjoyed a red-white-and blue-sprinkled-star-shaped sugar cookie tonight. Eric totally would have wanted me to!
Cheers to you Eric! You will always be remembered. A1C Eric M. Barnes... a true HERO.