The day had started like any other, waking up and hustling the kids out of bed so they could get ready for school in time to meet the bus, preparing breakfast, and frantically trying to remember if there were any appointments later that day. The weather outside wasn't anything particularly stellar. The sky was smog covered from the pollution of living so near to a large city, and the warmth of the sun began to heat the earth with telltale signs of another hot spring day.
Despite all of those bland characteristics, she carried on her morning with a skip in her step, and as she headed for the door to go out to run errands, she stopped at a picture frame on a rather ornate table. She gazed with a glint of pride and love in her eyes at the tall man standing in the picture with a stern look on his chiseled face. She pressed her fingers to her lips and then pressed her hand against the face of the man in the picture as if transferring her love to him.
It was about an hour before the kids were due to arrive home, and she was sitting on the overstuffed couch in the living room, reclining as long as she could, when a knock came at the door. Wondering who that could possibly be, she hefted herself up off the couch and made her way to the door.
When she opened that door and saw the two men dressed sharply in their military uniforms, her heart began to pound in her chest.
"Ma'am, I regret to inform you that your husband, Ashton DeCerto, was killed in battle yesterday."
With just those few words, her whole world shattered.