The phrase â€œanswering the callâ€ can be interpreted in many different waysâ€”answering the call of duty, answering the call on a phone, or answering the call that comes with the responsibility of being a parent or, in this case, a father. As a father, I never wanted to experience the emotions of shock, confusion, and grief that cascaded into total devastation. But that's exactly what happened the day I answered that call.When life ends prematurely, we must choose how to respond. All things changed, all timelines changed, and when I look back and remember certain events that have occurred, I preface them by saying that happened before or that happened after the call I received about my son Rob.Most people don't know what a Gold Star Family organization is. I knew it was an honorable organization, but I didn't know much more than that. Membership cannot be purchased. It cannot be inherited, and you can't join on your own. Membership is gained only through the tragic loss of an immediate family member during combat, the loss of someone who was brave enough to serve our country and pay the ultimate sacrifice. I knew I never wanted to be a member of such an honorable organization, and I'm sure no one else does either. However, my family and I became a member of the Gold Star Families on March 13, 2007, the very day I answered the call.We are a genuine blended American family with three military children. As most blended families, we have a complex set of dynamics and challenges, but we try to work through them with love and sometimes in a messy way. There is no normal in our lives anymore. Someone once said, â€œNormal is just a setting on a dryer.â€ And I couldn't agree more.This is my journey of shock, grief, devastation, and finally closure. A journey which portrays deep love, deep pain, and deep faith. And this horrific journey started the day that I answered the call.