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.
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.
Today my house is full. My heart is also full with the love from my family. My two daughters, my daughter-in-law and a best friend are here. This is the first gathering since the beginning of covid. It wasn’t planned but just came together as a spontaneous time. The girls are all making dinner and my husband’s pain is less and he is able to rest.
All in all I am grateful. I know there are some tough times coming but definitely not as stressful as the week I spent alone in a hotel with Hap in the Mayo Clinic. I got through it and that is the best I can say. Somehow we both survived it and mending is happening.
It still feels strange to be at home the whole day on a Sunday. I guess that feeling won’t go away until church can begin again. I look forward to that.
Each of us is finding new ways to grow and cope in this strange new world. I suppose we will have some ability to meet others at some point but for now not exposing ourselves to those who could be carrying the virus is best for us.
I hope on this Sunday everyone has found some peace and hope that continues.
Today my son and daughter-in-law came over to help. She cleaned the bathroom like it had never been cleaned. WOW it is so amazing. My son mowed the lawn (which I had cut too long) edged and blew off the porches and walks.
This is so incredible and wonderful of them. They both work extremely long and difficult hours and have little spare time. I am so grateful for them taking their time to do this. How wonderful to have family and I love them so much.
It is a blessing to have family that cares. I know that all families have the kind of relationships that we have and I am so grateful. Many suffer from bad family relationships or abusive childhoods. Life is not great for everyone. I hope that they are able to find new friends who become family for them.
Friendships and family must be nurtured to grow. You can’t let the grass grow between you and your loved ones.. It doesn’t matter if you live next door or miles apart connections matter. Take the time to call, write, email, text, whatever. It pays off in the long run.
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.
I have been thinking today about friendship. Even in this time of social distancing we can still be close to our friends. Communicative today is very different than it was years ago. For centuries communication was telegraph, some telephones, and mail. Maybe smoke signals. Now the world is connected.When my husband was in Viet Nam we only had letters to hold us together. Even those had to be numbered as many came at odd intervals or got lost. I never knew from day to day if he was alive….yet we managed.
Today I can pick up a phone, electronic device, computer, Kindle…..whatever and even see the person I’m talking to. I remember seeing an example of that years ago and being amazed (also wondering if I wanted to always be seen). Now we can choose.
This is so wonderful for me. I have spent time with friends on the phone, email and text messages. I can help them if needed and they can help me. We are there for each other and will continue to be. We are willing to share what we have (even toilet paper) or run errands for each other. Most of my friends are “old” like me and just as at risk but where friendship is concerned it doesn’t matter.
There are also those who I consider friends on Word Press. I know that I can share concerns, fears, hopes and ideas and others will respond. How wonderful!
With all the hype about the Corona Virus is has been a shock to me to realize that my husband and I are in the high risk zone. Good grief are we now really old? I remember riding in the car with my mother when she was 95 and she said “I think I can consider myself old.”
That is what I was hoping to do but heavens all the news people are making it clear that we are already there! I refuse to believe it.
My children have also called to warn us about being around large groups of people. It reminded me of the time they told me to make baby blankets so that if I was not around there would be some for their grandchildren. Have we fallen into the Twilight Zone?
We will be cautious as that is the smart thing to do but really!
I often think of Robert Frost’s poem about building a wall. He is thinking about what happens when we do this. We can wall things out and sometimes we have to do that to survive. Many victims of abuse can only manage by walling the abuse out. Some have even developed different personalities to not be present themselves. This is the extreme example.
However, we do need to be careful about walling those around us out. Usually what we need for healing begins outside of ourselves. We need others whether in the form of therapist or loving friends/family. We have to be careful not to wall out the help we need. If we are fragile it is so easy to stay inside our protective shield but this is only a temporary solution.
Try and find those who can help to pull you out from behind the wall and eventually tear it down altogether. In that place is healing.
Helping someone you love is not a burden. It is an opportunity to show gratitude. ? from the two popes ?
I wrote this quote down without putting the author but I think that’s where I got it.
It really made me think. In today’s society we have a large aging population. People are living longer. More are having to be cared for. How many of us would be willing to take on what we may see as a burden. If we were blessed enough to have loving parents we need to remember the time, energy and love put into raising us.
I know I didn’t do enough for my parents. I did help and care for my mother and my aunt but they were not unable to care for themselves most of the time. Sometimes I feel guilty for the things I didn’t do to make their lives easier. Like most of us I was involved with my job, my family and my own agenda.
Those we love are not a burden and it should be a privilege to serve them and show our gratitude.
Our 2019 ended….badly. Our 21 year old granddaughter was in a serious auto accident and ended up in surgery. She was very blessed that when the surgeons went in the only thing damaged was her spleen. Her spleen was removed and she is recovering. She does have a bruised lung which makes breathing painful. It will be a few days in the hospital barring any infection or other problem.
This was early in the day and was not alcohol related with either driver.
Life is so fragile. One moment everything is fine and the next it can be taken away at the snap of a finger. It truly reminds me to treasure each and every day. Even when things are not perfect it is still life!
If only we could live so that we don’t let our minds move us into places we don’t need to go. The worries and anxieties can remove all the joy and we spend each day struggling.
Just to live each day in thanksgiving and peace. That is really the driving force behind worry less journey. To worry less and experience joy and peace more.
Tomorrow morning early is my surgery. If all goes well will be home the next morning. I will be glad to get this behind me.
As I have said many times life is never boring. There is always something new to see, do, manage, endure. We just have to keep going. I am grateful for so many things in my life I could never begin to list them all but I am grateful for my blog family….and you do seem like family to me.
We hold each other up, commiserate with each other and encourage each other. A true blessing. God bless each and every one of you.