The hero in my life

I want to write about my husband. He graduated from West Point in 1962. It was shortly after that there was war in Viet Nam. I won’t comment on that war except to talk about my husband.

He went there for the first time about 1967. At that time he was a Captain and was assigned to be a company commander. To this day he talks little about his time there other than the moments that were amusing in some way or good stories to tell. He has never talked about the other side. Thankfully he did not have PTSD although I’m sure there were times when all that he experienced he felt deeply. He did come home with malaria and still has attacks of it to this day.

He has never talked with his children or grandchildren about those days. As we prepare to move things have been pulled out of closets and they discovered that their father has 5 bronze stars for valor. To read the commendations fills me with pride and love.

When he returned from his first posting I received a letter from the men in his company sending us money they collected for us to go out to dinner. The letter said that he was the reason they were still alive and that he was the best company commander they had ever seen. He deserved that and it meant more than any other accolade.

He did have to go back for a second time and worked with the The Montagnard people who are the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. He loved these people and brought home some of the weaving the women did. This is a bracelet much like the one I have.

I still wear this

They were given as a symbol of respect and friendship. He was made a member of the group he worked with which required him to drink their version of an alcoholic beverage which he said he barely got down. He respected them greatly.

He has always followed the traits learned at West Point of Duty, Honor, Country and always will. He expects people to behave with integrity and be truthful. The many times he is disappointed he accepts the ways of the world and moves on.

I am proud of his life and he will continue following those things he learned at West Point for the rest of his life.

More paperwork

One of the difficult things during this time is trying to get everything in order to move. When one has lived somewhere since 1976 there is a lot to remember, get changed and the paper work done. Unfortunately my husband is only able to help some. The things he can do are a big help but for the first time I feel the burden is mostly on my shoulders.

I know that all will get done but I do seem to be a little overwhelmed. Oh well. Things will go on and I will be able to relax once all is done.

Paperwork is a pain in the neck and I am throughly tired of it. It seems that everything is much harder than it should be. Always something else needed or something going wrong.

I will survive!

Persistence

I hate mysterious illnesses. There are many things that happen to people that may never be solved. There are some that you have to keep pushing and pushing and pushing through many layers of doctors and tests to find out what is wrong.

solving the puzzle

My husband has something wrong with his legs. The picture has been clouded by all the other things that have gone wrong. Now that many things are being taken care of we can concentrate on solving this issue. Fortunately today I was able to connect with the right person at the Mayo Clinic and I hope we are on the way to unearthing the problem. There is one thing for sure. I will not quit until we have answers even if the answers mean that things can’t be fixed.

I will not give up!

Mayo Clinic is considered one of the primary places in the country to solve mysteries and I am praying that they can solve this one. A 2 1/2 hour drives means nothing if it helps. The nurse I connected with has even asked to be kept up so that she can hear the answer also. She cares. You can’t ask much more than that.

The always tasks

Today I had to cut the lawn. For my lawn this is a two hour job on a riding lawnmower. the weather was great but the mosquitoes about carried me off. I came in reeking of OFF and headed right to the shower.

Normally I like cutting the lawn as it is one of those jobs that you can see results as you go. Usually my husband like to do it but his health has halted that for now. I had waited too long to mow and the grass was really long. I had to mow some areas more than once to mulch the cut grass. Nevertheless it is done.

Not me but it could easily be.

This time of needing to do everything has been a challenge. One that I have met sort of. There are boxes that need to go to the dump piled up in the garage and that will hold for another day. I guess I didn’t realize all the things Hap was doing. I’m getting a dose of real appreciation for the things he did.

The good new is that I can look out at a beautifully cut lawn and enjoy the view. That is until it jumps out of the ground again. Some things never go away.

58 years and counting

Today it has been 58 years since we were married. Sometimes it seems like forever and sometimes just yesterday. For you young folks we were married in 1962. That will sound like an eon ago. The Viet Nam War was just hotting up. The Cuban Missile Crisis was in October of that year. We were at Ft. Benning and it looked like my 2nd Lieutenant husband might be going to war. Thank God that did not happen. The next event to shock us was that Kennedy was shot in November of 1963. Again things in the military were very uncertain. What a way to start married life.

However, we survived it. We had children, moved from place to place to include his two years in Viet Nam and ended his career with a high note teaching math at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Our time since then has been living in Savannah, both of us working, me as a nurse and him as a structural engineer. Life has been good. We raised three children all married with children of their own and blessed be all gainfully employed (to include three of the grandchildren).

We had our ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade any of it. Now we look to the next chapter which is rocky at the moment but with planning will settle into a “new normal.” I have been blessed.

The radical

The church has very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him as a fitting household pet for pale curate and pious old ladies. Dorothy Sayers

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Often our image of Jesus is the sweet man surrounded by a group of children. The image is not wrong. Jesus did do that but we can’t leave it there. Jesus was radical. He flouted the mores of his day and defied the ruling hierarchy. He loved so deeply that he was willing to give his life. He was not afraid to heal lepers and eat with tax collectors. We are called to fight against prejudice and injustice just as he did.

Time to rant/ Wrong choice

I don’t usually complain about decisions made by the president (and that includes any president…it doesn’t matter who). This is one time I take seriously this simple choice that really affects very few people.

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It is my understanding that the president decided that those football players who go to one of the academies can bypass military service and be drafted for a professional team. I see this as totally wrong. We, the people, have paid for that education with the expectation that military service would follow. It is also not fair to the other students. What in the world makes football players special? We all know the answer to that but if they are going to be allowed to escape their commitment they should have to pay back the cost of their education.

My rant is done.

Will we learn?

I heard this song just the other day. It brought back so many memories. I love folk songs and the stories they tell. I was lucky that the era when they were so popular was during my college years.

This song was written by Pete Seeger who was a long time activist. It reminds us that we are the ones who cause wars. His question always gets to me: “When will they ever learn?”

We haven’t learned yet. Is there any chance that we will learn?

Pay attention to health

This week I have been asked to do one mediation and 2 community conferences. I wanted to start back but wow! They have cases that must be done asap and someone has the flu. it will be a challenge but also interesting.

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I am also taking control of my health after the surgery and the shift of not having a thyroid. It is taking some rethinking on my part but I have realized that I have been taking my health for granted.  I am now watching my diet and getting back to eating well…back to walking the dogs for exercise for all of us. They even seemed tired after walking today. I guess we all need to get back to reality.

health hope

It is so easy to slip and let important things get away from you. The holiday season didn’t help but really it was up to me. We have to pay attention and not let the things that keep us well be ignored.

Keep helping

Laziness has invaded my space. This week has had changes but has really been quieter than usual. I have to get back to all the things I was doing. I haven’t called to get back on the schedule for Community Conferencing or Mediation. Next week will be the get going time.

doing nothing

It can be easy to sit back and do nothing. Just be the person who meets people for lunch and is a dilettante. Really not my thing. If I don’t get back doing what I can to help I will end up being insipid.

If all of those who are retired stopped doing volunteer work it would definitely be missed. Ninety percent of the people at the mediation center are retired and I’m sure that can be said of many places where help is needed. We have to keep on helping.