This lesson couldn't have come at a better time, though, as I have needed to up my creativity game and also make my brain work differently. I refuse to get lazy and bored. Neutrality is just not for me. As is the case with me, my brain triggers my heart and as I was taking photos this morning, my heart spilled over and I saw something in a way I'd never seen before.
Yes, Grandpa, you were there. And because you were there, I am here, and no, it wasn't a waste. Tears are falling from my eyes as I write this. Who would have guessed that in the 1940's, a young man in his early 20's, would have started a legacy in such a foreign and war torn country? He never would have imagined children, let alone grandchildren then. He was just surviving the horrors of war. He left a great deal himself in the South Pacific theater; his innocence, his mind, his heart, any good thought about mankind. He was a simple Nebraska farm boy with nothing but orneriness in his blood. It's a good thing; it helped him survive the worst 4 years of his life. We know he left a good deal of his mind in the Philippines because up until the day he died, he talked about the horrors he'd seen. When we brought our beloved 89 yr old war hero home to take care of him until he died, he woke us up one night screaming at hallucinations he was having that came from his war days, 60+ years earlier. We'd heard these stories all our lives but we lived intimately with these dreams and nightmares and lapses into his past for a little less than a year, but when it was finally all over, we looked and felt like we'd surivived the combat of war ourselves. NOT to diminish what the war veterans themselves have gone through, please don't misunderstand me!! But we lost our health, our strength, and even our identities taking care of this war veteran. When we found him crumpled up on the floor in his living room from an "episode", all my mom could think was, "He's a World War Two Veteran!!! If he's still alive, he is not going to die like this!!!!" While we lost everything to take care of him, I will tell you it was an honor to take care of a man who'd literally given up his life along with so many others. He is my hero this Memorial Day. I wanted his combat boots for so many reasons, but mostly because they have walked the land where I was born, and the feet that were in them so many years before were waiting for me when I came to the home I was born for.
Blessings this Memorial Day weekend!!!!