Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Last Year

I've been away from home for over a year, mostly in Iraq. Boy, has it been tough.

My Uncle Bill sent me the classic Walt Disney film, Old Yeller, several months ago. I used to love watching that show as a kid.

After the boy buries his beloved dog, his dad has a heartfelt talk with his son. I suppose I put myself into the situation, considering my year of trials. Here's the conversation they had.

Father: Come sit down, son. That was rough, son. Roughest thing I've ever heard tell [inaudible]. But I'm mighty proud of how my boy stood up to it. ' Couldn't have asked more of a grown man. The thing to do now is try and forget it. Go on being a man.

Son: How, Pa? How you gonna forget somethin' like that?

Father: I guess I don't quite mean that. But it's not a thing you can forget. Maybe not even a thing you want to forget. What I'm tryin' to say is life's like that sometimes.

Son: Like what?

Father: Well, now and then for no good reason a man can figure out, life will just haul off and knock him flat. Slam him in the ground so hard it seems like all his insides are busted. But it's not all like that. A lot of it's mighty fine. And you can't afford to waste the good part frettin' about the bad. That makes it all bad. You understand what I'm trying to get at?

Son: Yes sir. Just that...

Father: Ah, sure, I know. Sayin' it's one thing and feelin' it's another. But I'll tell you a trick that some time's a big help. When you start looking around for something good to take the place of the bad, as a general rule you can find it.

I can hardly wait to see my wife and children again. They are my 'good thing' -- my happy thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking the other night that it's been five years since boarding that CH-53 and leaving Hussains sports complex on a marathon flight for home...I was leaving on emergency leave for the birth of my son and I never went back to Baghdad. Lisa and I were talking about my time there as we drove around town today. It was really SURREAL (serving there). I knew all was well at home, I knew my job, and I have faith in Christ and am prepared to answer to him, so I knew I'd be okay.

I hope we have this conversation again together in person in five more years bro!

Semper FI & GOD bless!
J. P.