So, how was your afternoon? Mine was…well…

“Interview?” asked the sales clerk looking at the black suit and blouse I placed on the counter.

Caught off guard, I answered with brutal honesty, “Actually, my husband is deploying, and I want to have something appropriate to wear…just in case…”

It took her a moment to regain her composure.

Me, too.

Mental note: if ever I go shopping with another women who needs such attire, prevent any and all interactions between the woman and the sales staff. She will not need to deal with that.

The unit with which Bill is deploying requires all sorts of paperwork, including the usual “Next of Kin” to notify in case of a tragedy. He hoped to spare me the discomfort of answering questions like “Who do you want to officiate at your funeral?” and “Where do you want to be buried?” But then he saw that I had to sign the form, so he clued me in.

It’s a good thing, too. I think I am much more suited to answer questions like “Besides the official party, who do you want to be present when your spouse is notified?” And although I am confident that he can plan a decent burial for himself, I would like to have some say in what Gospel reading is read.

“How about this: ‘In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be…'”

“I like that,” he said.

“What are you guys doing?” asked Fritz, passing by just then. Ever notice that kids are always attracted to the wrong conversations?

“We’re just talking about passages from the Bible,” I answered, blowing him off.

“But what are you doing?” he pressed. Obnoxiously astute kid.

“We’re just reading from the Bible,” I insisted. He went away.

I was a bit grateful for his interruption, though. I did okay through the other selections, but that one got me a bit teary. It was the same way at the store. I took three suits into the dressing room. The third one was the one I liked best. I looked in the mirror and asked myself if this was how I wanted to look for my husband’s funeral, and that moment of decision was emotional. But it was then that I became aware of the rather loud background music blaring in the store. I don’t know who was singing or the rest of the words, but the refrain right then was, hopefully, the theme song of my life:

“Everything’s gonna be alright…”

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18 thoughts on “So, how was your afternoon? Mine was…well…

  1. Prayers for your husband’s safety. Both my mother and my sister-in-law were quite ill for some time. I bought quite a few black outfits over those years. It got to the point where people thought I just liked the color black. I know how you feel. I just wanted to have them. But I feel confident you will not need it. God bless you and your family!

  2. That song’s been kind of following me around for ages now. And it’s true. Everything is going to be fine.

  3. Mark this under “things civillians never have to do”.

  4. Praying for your husbands safety, and for you. God Bless you all.

  5. I never thought to have something to wear, just in case…

  6. Wow. God Bless and protect your husband and your entire family during his deployment. Tell him, “Thank you!” from our family as well.

  7. Oh my goodness! We never had to pick out readings…and I never signed any such form like you had. Okay, put that black suit in the back of your closet…or better yet, in a trunk in the basement. You need to get your pretty girly dress for deployment and redeployment day now. You know…the hot little number for special occations.

  8. I’m not sure I’m up to pre-shopping. I’m just planning on you coming and taking me shopping if the day comes.

    Lots of prayers for Bill’s safety and your sanity!

  9. We’ve gone over some stuff…but never planned as much as you have. The army must be better about that than the Navy. Anyway, all we can do is trust in each minute.

    Many prayers for comfort and peace during the stressful pre-deployment weeks!

  10. Wow, hard stuff girlie. Keep the faith though. Another blogger I read just welcomed her hubby home from a one year deployment to Iraq. All will be well.

  11. Keeping your hubby in my prayers!

  12. Oh dear…

    Please know we’ll be praying especially for Bill and his unit, and of course for you and the kids.

    And I second what Mama on the Move said. I have occasionally picked out an outfit “to have something appropriate,” but never with a particular person in mind. Much less with someone that close in mind.

    hugs…

  13. You’re in our prayers. God bless.

  14. I’m sorry you have to do this (but every woman needs a good funeral dress). I thank Bill, and you and the children, for his service.

  15. “They also serve who watch and wait” said some sage. I do not know what dress you will wear on the day he leaves. I do not know what dress you will wear on the day he returns. I do know you will watch, you will pray, and you will be waiting on the day he returns. There are some constants in this world.

  16. Oh boy. That is something I never had even considered. Hugs to you, and may God keep Bill safe during his deployment, and bring him home quickly.

  17. I’m thinking about your family today. God bless you all!

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