Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Story of Today

The story of today started several weeks back as we drew closer and closer to actually deploying. I have a hunch that this story, or one like it, is one that most in the Armed Services today could tell. In fact, I'd wager it is one that veterans of past wars could tell as well. It is a story of regret. Regret is a powerful word. in my case it is defined in the context of another year away from my home, my wife, my kids, even my dogs. I put this down, not to make people feel sorry for me or elicit a particular response. Rather, I hope, as I always have, to give my readers some measure of the kinds of things that soldiers experience everyday. Not just the fighting...the external, but the internal struggles as well.

I spent the last coupel of days at home trying to enjoy that one last minute with each of my children and my wife. To build even the smallest, simplest memory for them and for me. And I'm pretty sure I failed miserably. The end result was that when the time came to put them in bed and pray with each of them in turn, we all knew I wouldn't be there when they woke in the morning, and that all we'd have left is whatever memories I was able to offer them in the preceeding days. It was essentially the end of a day spent with my stomach in my throat...regretting.

I regret the things I said and didn't say. I regret some of the things done and especially those not done. I regret not treating my daughter and my wife like ladies. I regreat not treating my boys like the young men they are becoming. I regret too much TV and not enough wrestling; too much work and not enough ice skating; too much coffee for me and not enough hot chocolate for them; too much arguing and asserting and not enough reconciliation and prayer. Too much regretting. Too much wishing.

None who know me would doubt my love for my children and my deep affection for my wife. But as I stand again on the threshold of a year away, I wish I'd have told them more often.

But, dear reader, today's story is not just about internal struggles and wishes. It's also about my toe. A very external concept. Today I discovered that my pinkie toe, which is newly broken and constantly painful (the details of which can be read bout in my previous posting), had while I slept turned a lovely shade of purple. I just thought you'd want to know. But I might be mistaken.

2 comments:

Wade said...

Brother I know just how you feel, you articulated the feelings that I went through everytime I left my family very well. I and my family pray daily for you guys(soldiers in general then those who enter the blogs we read) so please keep us updated :)


IHS

Liz H. said...

Chaplain,

Best wishes to you as you deploy, again. I also hope that toe of yours heals up fast. I wish you a safe and speedy return home, and many many more memories with your family.