This is one of the worst parts about the military lifestyle.
We have had several family members get sick or just age and pass away while we were left on the other side of the country with very little ability to help or do anything at all.
We've missed last chances to see people face to face. We've missed funerals. It is so hard every time. With this nomadic lifestyle we never seem to be in the right place at the right time, so we watch from a distance, hearts breaking, always eager and wishing there was more we could do to help and struggling through the emotions of it every day.
In a way it feels like we're still healing after losing Phil's Dad and Grandma just a couple of years ago. It felt like we should have had more time. Then over the holidays to receive the news that it is going to happen all over again to yet another loved one we hold so close is heart wrenching. We ask probably too often for updates and pray. A lot of mental energy is spent trying to figure out some way you can help: help Mom with her pain and dealing with the emotional journey she will be on, help Dana with the new daily and nightly workload and the very different emotional journey she is on... There seems to be so little that would actually make any difference. We're here, though. We're not physically present but we are definitely present in spirit and in prayers. For now, I guess that's the best we can do.