Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day, Two years ago-

I walked to the Vietnam Wall today -this sounds impressive, until you realize it's less than two miles from my home. I passed many veterans along the way, most about my father's age, and a good deal that were alone. That surprised me.

I tripped, at one point. My foot caught into a hole, and I went down hard on my hand, but didn't completely lose my balance. I thought, wildly, of last November when I was still in a cast. I was swarmed over by many concerned people, but I was luckily fine, and managed to walk another mile and a half home.

I was walking along, and recalled my own words, written in 2010, that are somehow even more appropriate now, today, in 2012 - as my life continues to change and rearrange, and I am working on leaving old scars and hurts behind.

November 11, 2010

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 the future children in my life on whom I may be able to use all this parenting practice.

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 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 families, and to those who came out the other side with a slight limp from suffered hurt.  To those who suffered the wars in their own minds from mental illness, and those who suffered the wars of addiction. I salute you.

We are all survivors of something--veterans of the wars we fight on land, air, sea and 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.


liv said...

It did, and I join mine with yours.

Thank you so much for such a well written and beautiful post and for sharing those pictures - stunning, all.

I heard today that this is the first Veterans Day without a WWI survivor. They are all gone. I imagine, before I die, all the WWII vets will be gone as well. Such an incredible thing all these people have done, it really is overwhelming, including all the precious souls lost who were/are our "enemies". How ridiculous war is when the simple truth is that no one wants to fight it and we are really just one huge, huge, albeit dysfunctional, family. It would be nice if we could say there will be no more wars, but that's probably not the way it's going to be, is it?

Thank you for including all who suffer and survive. I love the way the way you think.x

SJ said...

Thank you, sweet Liv. I'm so glad you are still reading. Hang in there with me-

Ms. Moon said...

This was lovely, darling girl. All such good hopes.

May said...

I remember that post from two years ago. It is as beautiful now as it was then.