One friend looked and me and said, "You do don't you?" "Yes, right here, right now, doing what I am doing for these soldiers." Looking around the room, these are my guys, my soldiers. Some wave, some smile and walk on, some stop and pet the dogs, some kneel down and cradle Kelsie's head in their hands, and some simply want someone to recognize they exist. Each served his or her country and each deserves to be appreciated for what they have sacrificed. They truly ask for nothing but courtesy and are visibly pleased and often somewhat embarrassed, if you say 'thank you for your service and sacrifice.'
I am an advocate this week for a young female soldier back from Iraq with injuries and PTSD. She is a medic on 'leave.' She is being 'shadowed' by a famous national magazine writer doing a feature on her. The article will feature my soldier and her journey, her struggles and her soul. In the process both the writer and I have discovered this soldier's spirit is as exquisite as is her beauty. I think, as I watch her enjoy the smallest jestures of kindness and the smallest moments of peace, she is the most perfect woman I have ever known. She rises above the storm that rages in her head and was humbled because a friend and I cooked dinner 'just for her.' Imagine that! She has sacrificed so much and was humbled by a dinner invitation. It was I who was humbled. Just to be in her presence has made me a better person, a more accepting, more compassionate, and more empathetic advocate for all of our military. She is extraordinary in every way. From her love of her dog, Betty, to her savoring a beer and commenting on how 'cold it is.'
She held my hand most of the first day of being her advocate. She gradually felt comfortable with the writer and now they are 'sisters.' Her spirit and smile are fundamental to who she is. Her honesty is enormous.
I suppose we all need someone to hold our hand every once in a while. I know I sure have. And I also know without a doubt that had they not been there for me, I am not at all certain I would be here. Whether contrived or not there are times and disasters in our lives. Then a dynamic turning point occurs. And within that moment, that space in time, our lives change. It can be as simple and enduring as a hug or as extravagant and endearing as the promise of a lifetime. These are inexplicable happenings.
I tend to overthink things, try to juggle too many balls and plan way too specifically for the times of disasters. But today I am going to begin to realize that nothing is really in my hands. What is - is! Today I will try and accept the gifts given to me and be humbled at their rapid appearances and grateful for their exisitence and synchronicity.
For within the framework of inexplicable happenings I just might find the meaning of it all.