This week it is a year since this happened.
A year is such a short time for hearts to heal.
I've had the privilege this year to have as my good friend
someone who sent their husband off to Afghanistan and knows the pain
of waiting for that phone call.
It is impossible for us to imagine, who have not done this,
what it feels like to send away someone you love,
and let them go willingly but not know if they will come back safely.
To those of us on the outside, the soldiers seem like individual pieces
playing their part in some mysterious scheme.
But to those who know, this is their family.
Each and every one who wears the uniform, are flesh and blood.
They laugh and cry together and are bound forever.
For them the poppy is not just another flower
but a symbol of those family bonds.
This week I took an old army blanket,
which has kept many a soldier warm, infused with memories,
and made my friend a bag with poppy flowers
to remind her when she feels alone,
she is part of the big, warm, messy family that have her back.
I stitched some green stems on her black skirt
and cut some felt poppies. She is going to sew black buttons on the poppies
and wear it with pride at a service on Saturday.
Standing not as an individual,
but as a tiny part of the whole.
Each one playing their part valiantly.
We will remember.