I found my storybook long ago. From the World War I era to now, most soldiers I knew brought back that deepened their strength and character. Many came home with trauma, or worse, didn’t come home at all. They never forgot what dreadful cruelty people are capable of. War leaves is all a lot poorer than it finds us. They all had their stories.
Only veterans know the journey of overcoming the things that happened over there. Invisible wounds are the hardest to heal for their closure depends upon the love of others, patience, understanding and the tender gift of time.
They are a timeless story of strength, suffering and redemption. It’s the kind of story people like to hear, because everyone has experienced trouble and toil and suffering in their lives. We’ve all faced monumental tasks that we don’t think we’ll be able to complete. And we want to hear a story of someone whose been through such things but has still gotten through the end. This points it out to us that there’s always a possibility of success, no matter how difficult our lives may seem.
Sometimes I wonder if I am mourning for the lost friends or the person I used to be when I was with them. For I had survived a wound, a loss that ripped my heart and made it bleed. I often think how the loss of a loved one is the greatest loss of all. But there is one greater heartbreak, that of never having had them at all. They are the ghost in the machine of our lives. They were fathers, sons and now holy ghosts.
The sands of time pour against us. When the end comes rushing up at you and everything that you throughout was real starts to fall away, you consider the meaning of the life you lived, and you realize that the only thing that means a damn at the end is what you loved and who you loved. And you let it take you home.
On this Memorial Day, I thank God for their lives and all the gifts they have bestowed upon us. Thank you for every small moment of this world.
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad. Say that health and wealth have missed me. Say I’m growing old, but add, American heroes kissed me.
Thank you to all the veterans! Semper fi.