Friday, May 27, 2005

Update on Michelle...

So after posting this last night, and then somehow losing it, i have decided to post this update again.

Yesterday i get this email...

I am a reporter from the Chillicothe Gazette, and I stumbled across your blog today while looking for information about Spc. Gavin Colburn.. We're working on putting together a series of stories about Gavin for a special section for Memorial Day, and from the looks of your blog, your sister is the one whose life he saved. I'd really like to talk to you and, if possible, your folks. If you could drop me a line as soon as you get this, or just give me a call at the number below, that would be great. We really want to show the community that's still mourning his loss what kind of a person he was.

Thanks so much, April. Take care.

Daniel Prazer
Staff Writer/ Pike County Reporter
Chillicothe Gazette
So after getting this email, i realized that it has been a while since i have updated on this subject in quite a while. Things have gotten so busy lately that i haven't really thought much about updating. So here is my update on everything related to michelle.

My parents went to Gavin's viewing a while back (man it has been that long since i have updated). I didn't get the chance to go because of work issues. So, I decided that i needed to send something to Gavin's parents to let them know exactly how i felt and everything. It took me like a week to write something and a few days to decide to actually mail it. What was said in the letter will always stay a private matter. I stood at the mailbox for about five minutes debating whether or not to actually send the letter. I mean, the viewing and funeral were over and his parents are probably trying to move on. How would i feel if i was them? Would i want to be reminded that my son is no longer alive because he sacrificed his life so someone else could live? Tough decision. But i decided to mail it. That was on May 4th (i think) that i finally sent the letter. I haven't heard anything back from Gavin's mom (who i mailed the letter to). I don't expect to hear anything. I just hope that she realizes that i didn't send the letter to remind her of her loss but to let her know that i am praying for her family. I wanted them to know that their son was just an amazing person and i will always remember his sacrifice. I can't imagine making a split second decision like he did. To either sit back and have both of them get killed or to try to protect my sister in hopes that she would survive. Knowing full well that he wasn't going to make it either way. I am thankful for the decision he did make but it is still hard to deal with. Knowing that he had to die so that my sister could live. Just hard to take in, even to this day. I don't know if i will ever be okay with the situation.

Michelle is doing better. I think she is still working on that slide show of Gavin. Hopefully she gets that done soon. She said she was re-emailing it to me a couple of weeks ago but i still haven't recieved anything from her.

We were talking on Yahoo IM almost everyday before she went on R and R. Yesterday i get online to see if she was back yet and there was a message saying that she was back from R and R. However, she said that she wouldn't be able to talk on Yahoo IM anymore because they got a new commander and he doesn't want her chatting anymore while she is at work. So now i am back to not hearing from her for days at a time. That sucks. Talking to her everyday was kind of helping me heal in a way. At least i knew that when she was online, she was safe and sound. Now i am back to worrying about her everyday.

For those of you who don't have family members or friends in Iraq. It is tough. Really tough. You might hear from them two days in a row and then hear nothing from them for a week or more. That is difficult. Especially when you turn on the t.v and all you see and hear about is soldiers getting killed or wounded in Iraq. You start thinking "wow, i haven't heard from so-and-so in a few days. I wonder if they were hurt in that bombing or that accident?" It is just rough. You just pray that at some point within the next couple of days you will get a phone call or an email or anything. Just to know that they are okay.

Before the accident, I was confident that Michelle would be safe. Whenever we would talk she would say things like "oh I am just bumming around today, waiting on orders." I had just gotten to the point where I was okay with her being over there. Thinking that she would be safe and nothing was going to happen to hear. Then the day of the accident came and that totally changed my whole perspective. Now i realize that she is very much in danger. Whenever i would hear about someone getting killed in Iraq I would think "wow, that is so sad. I can't imagine what their families are going through." Then by the end of the day or even by the end of the hour, i would completely forget about it. Heck, at least it wasn't someone I know. Now i realize that everyone who gets injured, killed or hurt in anyway over there, they are someone's family, friend, mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, class mate. We tend to write the killed in action off as some statistic. But these people should never have to be a statistic. They are human beings who have family back home who have to deal with the loss. Everyone needs to remember that the next time they see on the news that another u.s. soldier has been killed. That person belonged to someone. That person was someone's family. When it happens to your family that is when it hits home. Eventhough michelle wasn't killed, someone else was. It totally changes your perspective on the whole thing. To hear about someone getting killed in Iraq and just walk away from the television or radio and not think another thing about it... well i will never do that again. Now i know the pain that the families of the injured and killed go through (to some extent). I don't think anyone should have to endure that kind of pain. They are not just some statistic. They are human beings. When Gavin was killed and the news said that he was the whatever number of person to be killed in Iraq since the war started, that crushed me. He isn't a number, he should never have to be a number. He is a person, with a family that has to deal with his loss. I wouldn't want to be known as a number when i die. Just remember that then next time you hear about someone killed in Iraq, they had family and friends whose lives will forever be changed by the loss. They didn't have a chance to say good bye to them before they were killed. They went months without getting to see their loved ones face and now they are gone. They might have not even had the chance to talk to them in a week and now they are gone. That is rough. Man....just keep that in mind.

Okay, enough about that. Sorry if that was a little depressing. Just got carried away. So Michelle is doing better. Still having back problems and knee problems. But those will heal eventually. She did get her hearing back, thank God. I was hoping that she would eventually get all of her hearing back. I am so proud of her for just hanging in there and doing what she needs to do to get through this and get back to work. We are all awaiting the day she gets to come home. According to her, they (her unit) will be coming home in October. She will miss our birthday (we were born on the same day two years apart) but we will definetly celebrate when she gets home. She just needs to hang in there until that day. She wants to come home so bad right now. She says that she wants to come home before then. But if she does she will have to go back and finish serving her time there. I keep telling her to just hang in there until October and then she will be done with it. Hopefully for good. But with the Army you never know.

If you get a chance (whoever might be reading this) just send her an encouraging message. She enjoys getting letters and email from people. Even if she doesn't know them. Everyone over there needs all the support they can get. Her email address is as follows:

Please don't be rude and send hateful emails. She needs encouragement. So yeah, if you get the chance just drop her a note and let her know that you support her and that you are praying for her.

Okay, i have got to stop this blog before it becomes a book. I get carried away sometimes. But hey it helps releave anger and frustration. It also helps the healing process. I will post more later. If they guy from the Chillicothe Gazette sends me the articles/articles, i will make sure to post some excerpts here for you all to read and enjoy. Talk more later!

God Bless,
April M. Shah
~Philemon 6~