Saturday, October 29, 2011
She was wearing a beautiful corsage of yellow rose buds and a smile resonating truth, strength, and courage, underscored with great pride. She was pushing the wheelchair of her son, severely injured by a brain injury in combat. I approached her in the main lobby of the new VA POLYTRAUMA REHABILITATION CENTER in San Antonio at the Grand Opening. As I held out my hand and heart to her, I was not at all certain what words would come out of my mouth. What could I possibly say to this warrior's mom that would have any meaning whatsoever? A mother just like those that I had seen so many times before with their own severely injured sons and daughters.
But she made it easy for me with her smile. For some reason, I would have expected nothing less.
I forgot the handshake and asked if I could give her a hug. She said 'certainly' and as I did so, I whispered a sincere thank you for what she had sacrificed, as well as her family. Kelsie was with me and I noticed her nudging the hand of this hero with her muzzle. He was unresponsive. Kelsie didn't give up, but it was no use.
There were many dignitaries from Washington D.C. and the State of Texas, but none impressed me as much as this mother. This is what the Polytrauma Center is predicated upon. Helping the warriors with more than one traumatic injury suffered in war. Their families will be able to stay with them and offer much needed love and support. This is where our PFHF Therapy Dogs will step in! This is where I feel certain we can make any day the best day of the week for these warriors who have sacrified so much and struggle each day to take another step, another breath, and recapture life to some degree as it once was.
I will see Cynde once again and Kelsie will again nudge a hand. And if my prayers are answered she will get petted and snuggled and loved on and whispered to one of these days by a young man who is but one of many who went to war for a cause, a mission, and a purpose only to come home severely injured. I looked at him in his wheelchair, so handsome in his gray suit and tie. I wanted to say thank you, but he would not have heard the words.
As I write this, CNN just announced 13 more troops were killed today in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber hit the bus in a NATO convoy. My heart breaks.