This morning I had to drive to the local post office, to send a book to China by special delivery.
As I stood in the queue, I overheard this poignant encounter between a woman in her early 50s and the post office clerk:
"I'd like to send this parcel through the BFPO." (British Forces Post Office)
"Where are you sending it?"
"Somewhere I don't want him to be."
"What's in the parcel?"
"A Top Gear magazine and a packet of sweets."
Every week I hear that a soldier has been killed in Afghanistan and to my shame, the news washes over me. But seeing a mother sending the parcel to a son she may never see again was heart-rending. A packet of sweets - still her boy.
A few minutes later, as I was driving back to the office, I saw the woman crossing the road. She looked broken.