I am, curiously calm this morning. I've been awake since around 3, reading since around 3.30, and got up around 5. I might do Tesco this morning, I might not.
Yesterday was a good day. The children worked hard, I worked hard, the world worked hard and it spun and nothing changed, but today I feel like everything did.
I have been reaching for an understanding of something in the last few days, and it has been something that I have not been able to even say what I am reaching for, or trying to understand, but it is coming to clarity.
I didn't talk to C4News man in the end. I worked out what he wanted, and it wasn't who I am. I made my views clearer, and he said we weren't what he was looking for. I wasn't surprised. He says he intends to be in touch to talk about my particular situation. That's up to him.
He wanted me to be negative about Rich's death, to see his time in Afghanistan as a waste of the time we could have had together. He wanted me to be angry, and hurting and bitter towards the RAF and the MoD and to talk about how terribly the child and I had been treated.
Rich's death was, if it had to happen, a death that occurred in the best way possible. It was quick, he did not suffer, and the details of his death that only I, and J, and the police know, are for us to know. But they bring me joy from the sadness.
His time in Afghanistan was what it was. It changed him as a person, it made him more than he was before, it calmed him and inspired him, showed him what he had thought his purpose was, and whether that was a good thing is for he and I to know. But to have the chance to find himself in the way that he did, was an amazing thing. He obtained the clarity that he wanted in his thinking. He was away from the pain of the She-Ex and her random behaviours, shielded from them by me and by distance, and doing a job he believed in. He knew why he was there, and he did it, and he did it well. Whether I believe in the political reasons for the Forces being there, is something I will honestly admit that I don't always understand. I believe in those individuals though, and I believe in our Armed Forces, and I will not put them down for the sake of some journalists predetermined point of view.
The RAF, and the MoD did not treat us badly. They treated us within the constraints of the law. They surrounded us with love and affection and support. They accepted our place in Rich's life in all the ways that they were allowed to, and in many ways that they weren't allowed to. They bent rules and looked for loopholes and did everything they could. More than the outcome, it was the fact that they tried that mattered. This massive institution of warfare knew that he had fallen, knew that there was a grieving child and girlfriend, and it cared. It paid lip service to the "family", and some of the private conversations that are for me to cherish and know are proof positive of that, but it cared for us.
And from all of this maelstrom comes J and I. Over the last few days there has been an article in the British press about Army wives finding love again after bereavement The headline was "Can we forgive Army Wives for finding true love again?" I'm going to write a longer post on this another day, soon, but the sheer nerve of the writer to not even try and understand the effort that goes into loving again, stunned me, and made me appreciate J even more.
Today however, there is a distinct calm about the way I feel. I feel as though my path has been winding for a long time, and now is set and whilst there is nothing I can do about it, there is nothing I *want* to do about it. God holds me in his hand, and I trust Him in a way that I haven't for a while. There's a post in there as well, I know.
So this got long. Sorry.