Almost two years ago I purchased macro filters and it started this weekly game called the Saturday Stump-er. I love trying to trick all of you and enjoy reading the guesses that people come up with.
Well today is Saturday and I haven't posted a stumper yet.
Lately life has been so hectic and I'm finding myself stumped on a daily basis. Stumped on what you may ask?
In order for you to understand that I need to back track from today.
Those of you close to me know just how much Bob and Rose meant to Jeff and I. When we first met them they could have easily drove us bonkers telling us how things should be done and why we should do them differently... understanding that a lot of their unasked for advice was because they were in their 80's and they cared so deeply for us (which is what strengthened our bond).
Bob was a retired Master Sergeant and Rose worked for the government for a number of years. I don't know all the details of Bob's career but I do know he loved his fellow vets. He spent a lot of time on base and was so unbelievable proud of his service and his country.
Whenever Jeff and I went over Bob would always talk to Jeff about either the military or the peppers that he was growing. Bob was proud of many things... his peppers and the military were at the top of that list.
While the boys were off Rose and I would always do crafty, creative stuff. Solving problems and making things out of recycled products. We were the perfect pair of pairs.
She taught me to make her grandmothers true english shortbread which to this day is the most special thing I make. We used to go thrift shopping, grocery shopping and frankly just hang out and enjoy each others company.
We loved baking for each other but I really think there was a secret competition on who baked better things (even though it was never said out loud). We both had tricks up our sleeve but she always held the ace. Chicken and dumplins. OH MY GOODNESS I could eat her chicken and dumplins every day for the rest of my life. I don't know how she made it but it was like a glimpse into Heaven.
Just being around Rose inspired me to create, bake and refurbish anything I could.
She was amazing like that.
Some how she always had the right thing to say whether it be serious and biblical or some sort of witty, sarcastic english saying. Either way she was the person I called on. Through Jeff's deployment they became my lifelines and by that point Rose had become one of my best friends. We were definitely an odd pair but it worked.
Moving away from people you love makes a the military life even harder. Add in the fact that they're older hurts even worse. Being in their 80's I just didn't know if i'd see them again.
After leaving Charleston we would speak at least once a week and some times even more. That weekly phone call was something i'd look forward too. It always started off the same way. Bob would answer the phone. I would ask how he's doing. He would respond with "oh, sober" and we would laugh a little, I would ask the color of his socks that day and then he would "hand the phone off to Ms. Rose"
Those calls can no longer happen.
3 weeks ago I received the news that Bob had committed suicide. At first I didn't want to write about it because I was unsure of how it would be taken. I was worried a certain level of respect would be lost. But it shouldn't and it wont.
From what I understand on Saturday September 20th Bob went into the bathroom, put a pistol under his chin and pulled the trigger.
Rose was the one to find him.
The stress of the situation caused Rose to have a severe stroke within a couple hours of Bobs death.
She was at a hospital for a few days and then transferred to a rehab facility nearby.
I'm thankful we were able to go down and see her. Even though I couldn't recognize her at first she knew exactly who I was.
I whole heartedly believe in miracles but i'm also fairly realistic. I think it's a good mix to have. I knew that Rose was strong. She was a fighter.. and a little stubborn. Physically she was tired but mentally she's always been so strong! When I left Ms. Rose I was unsure if she would make it and if i'd ever see her again so you can imagine my heart ache. Not only did I lose Bob but I could lose Ms. Rose too.
This morning my heart is heavy after receiving the news that Ms. Rose passed away last night.
I have faith that this tragedy will be used for something good. Even if I don't quite see the "something good" yet...
While we were down in Charleston I brought my laptop to work on photos but (understandably) couldn't seem to focus.
I found myself typing in the search: depression, suicide and Veterans.
The results were staggering. astonishing. sickening. sad. heartbreaking... pick a word because they all fit.
In 2013 CNN wrote an article on the suicide rate for vets..
"Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That's a suicide every 65 minutes. As shocking as the number is, it may actually be higher."
Why is this happening and why aren't we doing more?
I'm sad because I feel like we are failing our Veterans.
The same men and women that gave SO much for people they've never met are suffering and very little is being done to save them.
I was so sad to read the information wondering why it was the first time I had heard about it.
Now you see why i'm stumped.
One of the many articles: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/21/us/22-veteran-suicides-a-day/
Donation to Veterans in honor of Bob: http://givalike.org/dm/MSgt.%20Robert%20Emmet%20Kennedy%20USAF%20(Ret.)/R/1643385/Nonprofit-Directory/Nonprofit/310263158/Disabled-American-Veterans?eqg=1
Other ways to help: http://www.military.com/veterans-day/ways-to-give-back-to-veterans.html