Monday, May 28, 2012

MEMORIAL

Why aren't you here?
I wake up every night.
I check the front porch light,
Making sure it's shining bright.

And I'll be there to shine the light
So you can find your way to me.
-Queensr├┐che, "Home Again"

Goodbye
I know what its like to have a long distance relationship. Every single hour of the day, there's a gnawing emptiness in your heart, a longing for someone who is not there. Sometimes it is stronger, sometimes it is weaker, but it always is there like a piece of you has been carved out and the pain is like nothing you've experienced before. It isn't agonizing like physical pain, but it is a spiritual ache that doesn't go away until you see them again.

You can reduce that pain by talking on the phone or on a computer. A letter helps, photographs make you feel less distant. But until they're with you it never goes away. And I was only away for a few months at a time.

With that in mind I cannot conceive how families deal with a loved one away at war for a year or more. I cannot understand that kind of loss and fear. My loved one wasn't in a warzone and I could talk to her just about every day. Imagine being a wife in WW2, with your man in France or Germany or somewhere, thousands of miles distant and you get word once every few months. Some of those guys were gone for years. Many stayed under little white crosses.

Hard work helps distract you, liquor is said to dull the pain with a fog of slowed and confused mind, but nothing makes that pain go away. And on this memorial day, while we think of the soldiers who died for our freedom, to fight evil, and to bring justice, remember the families they left behind as well. Every time I see an old veteran, I think about his old wife who stayed by him and waited all those years. She served, too.

God bless them all for their sacrifice, for their pain, for their fear, and for going through it all for a better cause than themselves. Thank God we still have men and women who will endure that for us and for liberty. For those who serve: God be with you and keep you safe, come home soon, safe, and whole. For those who wait at home: God be with you as well. Keep you strong and brave and may you soon be united to your beloved so you can be whole once more.

Thank you all. We owe you more than we can express.

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