A funny thing has happened since we started this whole military family thing. First, a little background. I grew up the first 21 years of my life in the same house, in the same town, in the same state. I'm at least a 4th generation in that town... or was, I suppose. It's still my "hometown" and while I love to visit, it's definitely not "home" anymore. We've moved about and met new people and fell in love with new areas. A bit of our sense of home was left in those places when we moved away. Some days we feel homesick for California, sometimes for Italy, sometimes for Illinois.
In spite of all that, when things happen or change back "home," it still has the ability to affect me profoundly. This last week I was informed that yet another person I knew growing up has passed away. It is not someone I knew well but it still affected me. More then I expected, actually.
There has been so much I've missed out on with living this somewhat transient life. I've missed friends getting married and children being born. I've missed being able to show the people who watched me grow how my children are growing. We do visit when we can, but it's impossible to hold a place for yourself in two locations at once. You have to learn to live without some of those normal things that everyone else gets to be a part of as a natural part of life.
So here are my heartfelt sympathies to the family of the man who will be greatly missed. I sincerely wish I could be there to grieve with you.