S unday night I was sitting at home just doing the laundry and eating a salad. Health enthusiasts will tell you not to eat in front of the TV, but just this once (OK maybe twice ... uhhhh, three times at the most) I figured, what the harm? After all, one of my favorite programs, Army Wives, was about to come on.
As I sat down to watch, while continuing to do the laundry, the opening scene was a military funeral. I was shocked!
Allow me to explain.
Although Army Wives is one of my favorite shows, I'd missed most of the last season because I had been the host of a poetry event. So, to say I was really excited to watch the show and was thrilled that I was home to enjoy the season premier is an understatement.
As the scene progressed, the story revealed that one of the central characters had been killed in combat.
To be honest, I knew I was going to cry even before the tears came. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach, and I took the towel I was folding and put it to my face. I cried on and off pretty much for the rest of the show.
The characters' name was Jeremy, and although an amazingly well-written and well-acted program, I know that this TV show is an excellent work of fiction.
The characters are not real, the places are not real, the stories have elements of realism but are not real either. I'm not that prone to crying over TV shows and movies (although this one time at band camp ... I'm kidding), but I think that what hit me was all the friends and family members I have for whom a life in the military is very real.
There are women who do have husbands and sons and daughters serving our country. What is real is there are also mothers and wives, fathers and husbands, and children, who have lost the people they love in combat.
Though the story is fiction, I guess I was crying because the subject matter was all too real and hit way too close to home.
I cried so hard Sunday night that I couldn't finish the laundry or even talk on the phone.
On that night Army Wives and its story was fiction ... but the sad truth of the matter is that somewhere in the world there really is a military funeral going on and there really are soldiers, both men and women, who put their lives on the line for this country.
The reality is that there are military spouses who make it possible for soldiers to do what they do. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that it took a TV show called Army Wives to make me think about this situation, but what I am sure of is that it's a real thing.