Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Panic Attack!

This morning when I signed on to Yahoo messenger at work to be available if Austin was able to IM, there it was: "Helicopter crash kills 14 soldiers." After I saw that, nothing else penetrated my brain --- I just shut down. Nothing mattered to me except trying to find out that none of those killed were MINE.

I knew that either Kris or Austin were going to be on a helicopter going to visit each other and I just knew whichever one was on board was gone. I started breathing heavily, sweating, couldn't focus, couldn't really even understand what people were saying to me even though I was trying to act like nothing unusual was going on. CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Strykernews.com. . . What I read was somewhat reassuring --- they actually published the name of the unit involved. I think that is horribly wrong for the families of those who were killed (or even in the same unit) but selfishly right because of the relief it brought to others, specifically ME.

Austin hadn't IM'd me in over a week yet a few minutes after I saw the news, there he was! I e-mailed Kris just saying "I need an e-mail!" He e-mailed back 10 minutes or so later and blessed relief set in. Both of my sons were safe.

Kris told me that I was annoying and that if I didn't get help soon I was going to have a heart attack. Austin told me his company had lost a soldier last week and when I asked for details he just said "don't worry about it." Unfortunately I will be long dead and gone before these sons of mine realize that parents don't have an "off switch"! If I did, believe me, I'd throw it!

All day I just kept thinking about the soldiers who did die in that helicopter crash and about the 14 families that would get that dreaded knock on the door today. Those soldiers were just like mine; those families just like mine.

I was trying to explain how I feel to a co-worker (mother and grandmother) and all I could come up with was either Russian Roulette where the trigger is pulled until a bullet discharges from the gun and kills SOMEONE's child; or that casino wheel where the ball goes round and round and eventually lands somewhere --- on SOME MOTHER'S number?

Eleven and 1/3rd more months. If one of them goes again, give me the gun!

8 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

Mom, your son is correct, I haven't had a son there but I had and Grandson so I do kinda know what you are feeling, and it is awful. I got through it by knowing he is the best trained soldier in the history of the world, and I kept the faith that he would come home safe, and he did. I feel your pain.

Not a Granny said...

Come on hon..We are all here for you. We love you!

Mel's Mom said...

So glad your commentor is fixed! I was feeling blue because I wasn't in "your club" =) Anyway, - mom's don't have "off switches" so we couldn't if we wanted to. Maybe we need dimmers...yes..dimmers =)

Claire said...

I have had a very similar experience when I went to an online paper and saw that a 22 year old PFC was killed in my son's company (he's was a 22 year old PFC at that time!). I had to see if the name was released yet. I needed to know if I should be waiting for that visit. I am sorry you had that panic attack. I am glad that you got your reassurance so quickly. Hang in there, fellow Army mom!

Dixiechick said...

Maybe one day our son's will realize that we don't have that "off switch"...

Hugs!!!

Stephanie said...

Sons, husbands, brothers, ... none of them realize that we don't possess that mythical 'off switch' like they have.

If any of your boys figure it out, please let me know so I can train mine too! ;)

I forgot to wire myself one when I installed the ceiling fan a couple of weeks ago, darn it.

Glo said...

I do know some of your feelings.My husband was over in Iraq for a year. I just tried to keep my faith and put it in God's hands. He got me through it. I know what it's like not knowing if they are OK. Then when you find out everything Ok, you think now why was I so worried.
We do keep the families of the 14 in our thoughts and prayers. They are going to go through a ruff time. Go to lifeafteriraq blog.
We're all here for you. STOP BREATH DEEPLY so when they come HOME they won't see a basket case.
A big HOOAH to you for what you going through.
God bless

Michele said...

I can only imagine what you are going through and I wish I was there with you... stay strong, I'm with you in spirit, don't EVER forget that!