Wednesday, July 28, 2010


She sat on the floor in her BDU's, stroking Kelsie with short, soft caresses.  She never stopped smiling.  Her face was relaxed and totally unaware of the 'magic' that was occuring. The chaos in the room did not exist for her at that moment.  

 Less that a week ago she had been in Iraq.  Now she sat on the floor, quietly whispering barely audible words to Kelsie about how soft her ears were, how beautiful she was, and how she had, had a dog once. She had 'never seen such a beautiful building or such a special dog.'  She opened her camo covered notebook and searched for an Army pin for Kelsie's vest.  Distraught at being unable to find one, I assured her that it was not a problem and that Kelsie was honored she had wanted to give her one.

Never taking her eyes off of Kelsie she told me that that morning she had yelled at someone.  Someone who probably deserved it, but now because of Kelsie she felt more relaxed, and she wanted to go apologize to them.  "Kelsie is the best thing that has happened to me since I returned from Iraq.  Thank you for bringing her. When will you be back." 

There are those times when I know my presence is not necessary.  This was one of those times.  This was just between K. and Kelsie.  She had been Infantry in Iraq and witnessed atrocities beyond the scope of our understanding.  Petting this dog was close to Heaven for her. It was simple.  It was uncluttered.  It was liberating.  She explained how she did not understand why others died and she didn't.  "I should have died.  I feel guilty.  I feel sorry for their wives and children.  Why did I live?"

I had no answers, except to tell her that she had been spared for a reason and that reason was not apparent now, but would be one day.  She changed the conversation, asking me if I minded if she called Kelsie Miss KayKay.  "Of course she will love it."  "And may I call you Miss P.?"  "Of course."  "You see my short term memory is not so good.  I only wish my memories of Iraq......."  Her voice quivered and she again began petting Kelsie.

All she could say over and over was, "I can't believe I am here. I can't believe I am here."

Then as quickly as she came she was leaving.  She gave Kelsie, asleep on her lap, a hug and a kiss.  Then simply said, "Miss KayKay I wish I had a song to sing you."

Isn't that what most of us want?  Someone to sing us a song when we need it the most.  Someone to sing us a lullaby and make all the nightmares and scary things under the bed disappear.  I wish I had a song to sing to K.  I wish I could make the demons and horrors of war go away with a song.

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