I am thinking of Madeline Alice Spohr, who would have been three today.
I am thinking of Henry Louis Granju, a boy whose life touched mine after he left his own.
I am thinking of all the children whose lives never got to be completed, and all the children whose lives are in progress in my life, and how I am learning to parent without ever parenting at all.
I am thinking of my two best friends, one of whom I will spend my Thanksgiving with. Whose hand I will hold before prayer, just as I have for over fifteen years.
And the one who will greet me at the airport tonight.
And the sweet faces I will hug to me this weekend.
I am thinking of my grandfather, who served in WWII, along with his six brothers. Seven brothers went to war. Seven brothers came home. He wanted me to write a book about him and his brothers--maybe someday, I will. I wish I could have just one more conversation with him.
So here's to the veterans of war, the veterans of boot camp, the veterans of immeasurable loss. And here's to the veterans who survived the wars of their own homes, the nightmares of broken dreams and broken homes, and to those who came out the other side with a slight limp in their step from suffered hurt. To those who suffered the wars in their own minds from mental illness, and those who suffered the wars of addiction.
We are all survivors of something--veterans of the wars we fight on land, sea, air and in our minds.
Here's to them. Here's to us. Let's whisper thank-you to the wind, and hope it reaches someone's ear.