Monday, June 28, 2010
WHAT'S YOUR BAD DAY LIKE?
"We listen. We hear. But we don't know."
The Hurt Locker
We don't really know what our soldiers are enduring, sacrificing, or witnessing so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do. The freedom to have guests to dinner, to sit by a swimming pool or lake in the summer and daydream about what we don't have or what we feel we deserve or what we can't live without. That same freedom that allows us to complain about a crummy week, a steamy hot day, getting cut off in traffic, or a bad hair day.
Friday night it was a prayer like none other. He sat at the head of my dinner table with his wife to his right and his son to his left. The plates in front of us were laden with marinated grilled chicken, grilled mariated veggies in a pasta primavera and Texas style bruschetta. The candlelight danced off of the hungry faces, as I asked if he would say the blessing. The six of us at the table joined hands and bowed our heads and listened to this American hero unhesitatingly say the blessing. For all of us, it was more than a blessing, it was a gift. A precious gift, and an eye opener, to each of us at that table.
Nothing seemed really out of the ordinary as I asked. Nothing that is except that he had no legs and half of his skull was missing. L. had been in Afghanistan until February, when as a gunner, his vehicle was hit and the blast that ejected him from the HumVee, severed his legs. He thanked God for his life, his family and his friends and he asked Him to provide safety to those in harm's way. And he thanked Him for his life.
He enjoyed his meal tremendously and we were humbled and honored to have him at our table. Listening to his banter with his wife and child reminded us, he is much like all of us, but in reality so much more. He is a strong man, a courageous man and a deeply humble man . His thirteen year old son was attentive, as was his wife. They joked and teased each other and held hands. They are the lucky ones. They 'get it.'
They understand what is truly, and solely important, in this life. People. Each other, loving each other. Being their for each other through the good and the bad. Not the acquisition of money and more money. Not the acquisition of 'stuff'. Stuff we will never use, but feel an intense feeling that we can't live without it.
What is important is that we are with those we truly and deeply love and care for and about. Knowing that their needs are as important as ours and knowing that without them on this earth we would be sadly lost. Knowing that we make a difference in someone else's life and they in ours. And wanting always to hold them close in our hearts.
L. told us about his injury and how, after realizing he had lost his legs, his sole gut instinct was to get to his friends that had been gravely injured. But he couldn't.
I ask you - what's your bad day like?
I ask you how would you live through this, how could you endure? We are all spoiled and pampered and needy. My personal belief is we are not willing to lift a finger in many instances unless it somehow benefits us.
This last week I sent out an email to dozens and dozens of people to ask for them to consider sponsoring a soldier for one month. All they had to do was write one letter or email a week and send one package. Out of the dozens sent I received only two responses. I was, and am, heartbroken. Are our lives so busy and are we so selfish and self centered, we can't sit down and write a few words of appreciation and send one flat rate box with some goodies to a soldier risking his life every moment of the day for a year for us!!! I am ashamed and disappointed.
"We listen, we hear, but we don't know." We have no idea what L. and hundreds of thousands of our military has endured. His life will never be the same, nor his wifes, nor his childrens. His nightmares rage in the dark and we complain about someone taking our parking place at the mall.
For goodness sake when will people wake up and simply find the time to say thank you to a young man or woman who doesn't know if he will wake up the next day for what they are giving us...volunteering to give us. I am consistently struck with grief at the lack of compassion and complacency.
So I ask again!!!
Anyone wishing to adopt a soldier for a month or a year please contact me at the following email address. You will be sent a list of items that have been requested and appreciated.
210 273 6471