Can you repeat after me?
I thought you could.
I have to admit to being a horrible person. This morning when I checked in and found that there had been bombings in London; my first thought was, “Oh those poor people.” My second, my husband. My third, all the civilians of Iraq.
I can’t help it. I live a subjective life. I have children so I empathize with the mothers whose children have been killed or maimed by war. And yes, I know that this was happening before our country invaded, but at least we weren’t the guilty ones.
My lack of objectivity also leads me to worry for my husband. How safe is he?
Part of the appeal of living in a tiny community, lies in knowing that you don’t have to lock your doors, and that no one is probably ever going to bomb your non-strategic little burg. So what will I do when they come looking for my family…when they want my husband to go out & kill even more people?
I was a tiny baby when my father finished medical school. His graduation gift from the government was a lovely letter giving him a choice. He could be the head of a MASH unit, or be drafted onto the front line. (Most people never got that choice.) He was gone for 366 days…one year & one day. When he got home, do you think I squealed “Daddy”, and went running with arms outstretched? Probably not. More than likely I gave him that same blank stare I reserve for strangers who haven’t yet proven their merit. A stranger with an emotion laden name my mother must’ve repeated to me a million times while he was away.
Is this what I want for Chris and Kajsa? No.
My father and I have only talked two or three times about his time in Viet Nam. All he’s really said was that it was terribly sad and that he now understands why people use drugs.
Life just keeps getting scarier. We keep nonchalantly making enemies of the rest of the world and then wondering why they hate us.
Of course, I worry about terrorists. I also worry about my freedoms being restricted. But to me these will continue to be far more abstract than losing a loved one – even temporarily. I think of Chris leaving and being gone for a year or forever. I gaze into Maya and Kajsa’s eyes and wonder what it would be like to lose them, and how these women manage to go on.
Yes, I’m furious with the terrorists. But when it comes to fighting for freedom from despair, worry, and grief; I fear that to some extent they’ve already won.