Today is a day of wonder and confusion. Earlier this week Keith and I had another tragedy happen in our lives. If you have been on Facebook, and you are one of my “friends” on there, then you know what has happened.
The tragedies started 8 months ago and ended on Mari’s 8 month mark of being gone (February 16). In the past 8 months, we have lost Mari, we found out a little over a month ago that Keith’s dad has prostate cancer and then at the end of last month that it is moderately aggressive prostate cancer, and now the most recent.
Keith’s previous first sergeant and his wife were found dead in their home on Monday, February 16 from carbon monoxide. Their names are Anthony and Anita Wilcox. Keith had found out about 3:30pm, approximately 2 hours after his landlord and current first sergeant found them in their home. He had tried to get a hold of me around 4pm. He sent me a text message at 4:04pm saying, “911 call me asap.” Keith has never sent me a message like this. By this point I was already in my Biology class for the day. My phone was on vibrate. I never felt it.
I called Keith like I normally do as soon as I get out of class at 6:18 pm. He wanted to know where I was. I told him I had just gotten out of class. He asked if I was on my way home. I said yes. He said he was going to the store and asked if I wanted anything. I told him to get me anything but Hot Tamales (I have had those the last few times and I am kind of tired of them). He said ok. He never mentioned anything to me. So I got off the phone with him. Then a few minutes later I noticed that I had a missed text message. When I read the message I was almost to my van. I thought it was strange and that he did not say anything to overly important when we talked. So I called him right back and asked him about it. He said that it involved the Army but he did not want to talk about it over the phone. He would talk to me as soon as I got home. He asked again if I was on my way home and I told him I was in the van driving right then. So we said I love you and good bye.
Now I was both concerned and nervous for what he had to tell me. I figured it was someone under investigation or maybe it had to do with the possibility of us becoming stationed at Ft. Knox, Kentucky or something like that. This happens sometimes and he just did not feel comfortable talking about it over a telephone. So I called his mom to see if Keith had talked to her. Not so much to see if she would tell me what was going on but to see if she knew anything so to help calm my nerves. She said no that he had not. So I talked with her a few more minutes and then we hung up.
For the rest of the way home I listened to my audio recording for The Road and was in complete wonder with my stomach getting upset over what he had to tell me. When I got home, Keith was on the phone with his father. I tried to get him off but his dad needed to talk to him about something. I think he was on the phone for about 5 to 10 more minutes. In the mean time I am just wanting to know what Keith has to say to me. He FINALLY gets off the phone (It just felt like forever to me even though it was a few minutes) and I immediately pound, so to speak, to find out what he needed to tell me.
He told me that Anita and Anthony had been found dead in their home. When I heard him tell me this it was almost like it was a bad dream, another nightmare we were about to start living again. It just could not be true. I even said, “They are REALLY dead?” And he said, “Yes.” At first I was just in complete shock. I just could not believe what I had just heard. And then it just turned into hysterical crying. The belief for what had just happened was so unreal to me. I mean, how could this be? How could these two people be gone?
They are two of the most wonderful people anyone could ever have met. When Mari was both in the hospital and then when she passed away, Anthony and Keith’s company commander Raina were really there for us. The two of them, in a way, became a part of our family. I can remember Anita at my husband’s mom’s house after we all had gotten back from the cemetery. There was a little group of us just talking. It was me, my best friend Shelly, I think Missy (a family friend), and Anita all just stood there talking. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about but she was just her normal everyday self. The most kind, unselfish person you could meet.
When I talked to my friend Shelly a few days ago asking if she remembered her, she asked me if she was the woman with the hot pink nails. I said, “Yup, that was her.” Anita was always so nicely dressed, with just the right outfit on, her hair done just so, and her nails looking fantastic. That was Anita. She was a small, petite woman with a heart of gold. Anthony reminds me of the jolly old elf. I hardly ever remember a time when he did not have a smile on his face. He probably even had a smile on when he was disciplining someone because he was just the most happy person one could meet.
Anthony and Anita are going to be so missed and such a void left behind where these two were. Anthony had just turned 43 on January 26 and Anita was 44 with her birthday coming up on June 10. They had been married for 22 years and have three beautiful children. All three are in college with the youngest having just graduated from high school last year. If you believe in prayer, please pray for these three children because it is hard enough to lose one parent but they lost both at the same time. Please also pray that their college will be able to be taken care of so that they do not have to worry about how to come up with the expense of trying to go while having have lost their parents.
We will miss you Anthony and Anita and please just know you are loved. I am sure Mari is up there waiting for you with open arms. She probably became your tour guide to show you around your new home up there in heaven. Please take care of my baby girl as we miss her so much. We love you guys.