This is Tillie. Tillie knows how to relax. She is trying to teach me the same thing. Look at her. Don’t you wish you could rest like that…not a worry in the world. But that is now. Tillie is a rescue. We don’t know what happened to her before but we do know how she is now. She has shaken the past away and now rests without fear. She is calm and is still trying to teach me that I can relax and the world will continue.
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.
Being very close to 80 and having spent 58 years with my husband has somehow reminded me of the writings of Kahlil Jibran. His discourse on how to live together is the way I feel that my husband and I have been through the years. I love this from The Prophet.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
In the last week a dear dear person I knew died. Her life was everything we are called to be. She had a loving family and loved and cared for them every day of her life. She loved God and often wrote wonderful posts about his love and his care for her. She never lost this nearness to God even in the darkest of times.
Her name was Elaine. I first met Elaine as a Parish Nurse and her health journey would have crushed most of us early on. She was determined to live every moment of her life in spite of all the doctors who couldn’t see her going on for long. She not only went on but went on with joy. She traveled, boated, spent time with family and friends. She shared her joy with everyone and each day was one to be explored and lived. She lived! Each and every day she lived!
Now she is gone but never forgotten. Her example will remain with all of those who knew her and spur us on to live fully every moment. She has transitioned to be with the God she loved and who she knew with her whole being loved her. While those of us here are saying goodbye others are welcoming her home. Good journey Elaine.
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.
Last night while watching the movie “Midway” with my husband (who loves old movies) I took a photo of one of our bassets (Miss Tillie). Don’t you wish you could relax like that? That is true comfort. She knows how to lay down and chill no matter what is going on. She knows this staying home is the best of worlds for her.
If you were reincarnated wouldn’t it be wonderful to come back as a beloved dog belonging to a loving family? I would
Sometimes the things that we think of as awful trials turn out to be a good thing. This virus has caused me to be at home. If I were able to go out I would feel trapped staying here with my husband every day. I would have to have someone in occasionally to be with him. Most of the time everything is fine but we never know when he will not be himself.
So this staying at home has been a blessing. Someone might call it a “left handed blessing” but a blessing none the less. As we are able to discover what is causing this up and down problem things may resolve. If not I will find options to functions as needed. We still have several doctors to see and answers to seek to help define our options.
So aggravating as this crisis has been it has, for me, been a time to share with my love however he might be. That’s all that matters.
This quote sums up my mother and the other mothers in my life.
Today we went to see the movie 1917. I am not fond of war movies but my husband wanted to see it. I don’t want to talk about the movie but something that came to me while watching.
Another war….how many since? Why are we this way? Why do we go to war rather than solve problems? Why are we greedy and selfish? Why do we hate those who are not like us? Why are we not loving and kind and compassionate?
Did we start out that way or did we grow into it? And the real question is what can we do to change?
Lots of questions and no real answers. Rilke’s quote tells us to live in uncertainty and wait for answers.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke
I hope that he is right and that some day, somehow, a miracle will occur and the earth will be a place of peace and love.
There are stories about where Valentine’s day originated. Most versions have to do with a Valentius. All the stories agree that he was a hero who helped during the early Christian days in Rome whether by marrying young men against the orders of Claudius II or by helping Christians imprisoned by the Romans. February 14th may have been chosen by the Roman Catholic Church in order to coincide with a festival dedicated to one of the Roman gods. During its history the church did this for several holidays to make it easier for cultures to shift to Christianity.
None of this matters in the big scheme of things.
Hope your Valentine’s Day has been filled with joy and love!