Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Do You Feel What I Feel?

Has anyone ever told you something that kinda made you laugh but then a day or two later you thought about it again and maybe, just maybe it was in insult?

Last week I was told, “you know what your problem is? When you relate a story about (this story was a solder but they meant anything) you emotionally sound like you were there and that you are hurt or elated as much as the real people”.


Like I said above, I laughed. Kinda thinking they were poking fun or ‘just’ teasing. Looking back, I’m not so sure. There was a meanness to the tone, almost as if it were meant to be an insult.


I think they were wrong.

If I can tell you about attending a funeral or memorial service and relate the expressions of a father, remembering his son with smile and tears, such that you cry reading or listening to me talk, I think I was successful.
If I can tell you about a little girl that runs up to her daddy at a welcome home and hugs him like the hero he is, crying so much you’d think she would run out of tears and you cry from the shear joy I have related, I think I was successful.

The story...

A service member returns home after 18+ months (2 tours, back to back) and is met by his family at the airport. It is a small gathering, no big fan fare, no TV news crews. Just the unwavering love of a wife, a daughter and a son. (10 and 15 respectively).

Before the family left for the airport they had decorated the house with banners, streamers and a whole store full of yellow ribbons. There was cake on the table and dads favorite soda... there was love everywhere.

The greetings at the airport were your typical ‘family member returns from Iraq’ greetings. Hugs, tears, more hugs and “I missed you so much”. And pictures, someone took pictures of those hugs and the love could be seen in every hug, every tear.

On the way home the unthinkable... a father seeing his children again for the first time, having missed 2 birthdays each and his anniversaries... ...there was wind, loud as if a train had swept down out of the sky and was running at them on the highway, the wind was so strong... then there was silence.

The family van had barrel rolled 3 times and flipped end over end twice. No one could remember these facts, the evidence was in the ground... impacts recording a single vehicle accident. And the wind was silent.

The dad and son were ‘treated and released’... mom... has lost one eye. The damage to her skull was too severe to save it. She spent several days in a coma. There were several days there that no one was sure she would make the next few hours.
‘she’s lost so much blood’ ‘swelling of the brain’ ‘she’s not responding’
They have ‘successfully re-attached her hand’. She has started to recover, she has come out of the coma. When she awoke from her coma the dad, still in his uniform, hasn’t been home, had to tell her that her daughter had died... at the scene. She had been crushed by the van, the impacts had recorded it. And that she had missed the funeral, they couldn’t wait. She was gone.

Before he could get home, this man lost and buried a daughter and nearly lost a wife. At the funeral, he was presented a picture, about 5 days old. A daughter, hugging a dad, her hero, crying so much you’d think she would run out of tears. At the bottom of the framed 8x10 print was a poem, written by the girl, a few weeks earlier. It was titled “My Last Welcome Home, My Last Good-bye”.

There was love... everywhere.

A friend of mine, an Indiana PGR member... this was his niece and her family. Remember the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. Sometimes it’s not the tour of duty, sometimes the biggest sacrifices are when they get home.

And BTW – the “when you relate a story about people you emotionally sound like you were there and that you are hurt or elated as much as the real people” comment. I consider it a huge complement.


Kat said...

OMG... what an incredibly heartbreaking story.... that soldier will be in my prayers....

I do understand EXACTLY where you are coming from...there are those who think I'm a little (or a lot) "odd" for how much I pour myself into the mission of the PGR and Soldiers Angels, etc....

When you give with your whole heart and soul - people will misunderstand sometimes. That's just the way it is... and more's the pity on them....

Keep on with what you do... we need you out here in this world!

dragonlady474 said...

OMG what a story! That poor man!

DNR, don't let what was said bother you. Sometimes when people attempt to insult you they're actually paying you a compliment and they don't even know it. You're a great story teller, don't let anyone scare you away from what you do best.

Dazd said...

Obviously the person making the statement doesn't know you very well.

I will extend a personal invitation to that person to stand with me at a funeral or homecoming for a soldier. Let them see what reality is for their freedom.

og said...

Yep. A compliment. Indeed.
You didn't have that empathy, that ability to feel, you might as well dig a hole and jump in.

MrsJoseGoldbloom said...

DNR that story just about ripped my heart out.

I think you're a wonderful story teller and I wouldn't give a second thought to the man who made the remark about your story telling skills. You just keep on doing your thing my friend.

BTW Happy 4th of July to you and your family!

DNR said...

Thanks everyone.

Insults can be complements and ultimately this is a complement.

Don said...

I do feel what you feel.

Jan said...

dnr..you're the best.

There's nothing more to be said about that.

The story is heartbreaking, but it is more than just a story..it is real life, which is something that we too often forget.

God bless you.

God bless them..and all the others who sacrifice so much for our freedom.