It is hard to consider the enormous loss borne by the wife of Frank Stevens, the Chicago boy turned World War II veteran: first, losing her husband, then losing her oldest son. No matter how devastating life’s blows, there is always a tomorrow, a call for hope that things will get better. With much time, for Norma too, that would be the case.
Those first weeks and months must have been unbearable. Eventually, though, those months stretched into a year. Somewhere along the way, Norma met someone who became especially encouraging to her, someone to whom she eventually decided to say, “I do.”
Even so, the old neighborhood in Albuquerque must have held too many painful memories. The family decided to move—to get a fresh start. After all, Norma and the kids were accustomed to the military style of life. Any place could be called home with a little determination and will power. They could start over again.
Oddly, the city the family chose for life’s new destination was home to an Air Force icon: the blue and silver of the Fighting Falcons. High on a ridge to the north of Colorado Springs sits the United States Air Force Academy, both a reminder to the family, in their new home, of their now long-gone father’s military service, and a hint of events yet to come.
Life settled back into that comfortable routine, eventually—community college for the oldest, enrollment in public school for the youngest ones as a private Catholic education was no longer a possibility. Not that there wasn’t a gaping hole left where two loved family members used to be—it’s just that, for the living, Life just keeps on needing to be lived.