Baggy Grey Pants

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Wandering down the hall not really looking at much more than my feet there are the baggy grey pants dragging on the floor and the memory of an old woman. She was 60 something and getting ready for bed; head hanging low. Her hair gray now and a once beautiful smile now a permanent frown.

What happened to all the years? She was happy once. Married with children and dreaming of grand kids dancing and tugging on her apron.

Sad lonely pensive old senior womanThere was a time when her life was like mine. Fresh, challenging and ever-changing, and weekends filled with celebrations. While he used to beat her, she never let the kids know. She never cried when anyone was around. Her steps slowed. She took her time with everything she did. It seemed that she wanted to be sure everything was perfect. No errors, no room for criticism. He used to slap the kids. He used to call her by names not hers. But the table was set at 6pm every night.

What happened to those years growing up? Playing war games in the fields, building forts and chewing sugar cane?

Wandering down the hall getting ready for bed, I looked down and saw the old woman walking slowly and I wondered for a moment when I became just like her.

Controlling Destiny

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WOW.  Reading posts and found the daily prompt
“Do you believe in fate or do you believe you can control your own destiny?” 

That is a huge question and one who’s answer changes about as often as I change socks. Was it Destiny that brings me to this post, or simply that I chose to click another’s? The answer is YES. We control everything and nothing.

God creates (aka control) everything therefore we do not.

Yes, the Creator (by any name) is the source of all that is. If you trace back every tangible item, from bookshelves and heaters to the essence of life and beyond you find Creator. Try it. Look at any object around you…What is it made of, what is that made of, and that, and that, and that. Get the idea?

Trace the lives written in the Good Books back to their source.  What is the answer you get? On the surface it looks like we don’t have any control at all. If everything, every Life Texture was created before, thought before, dreamt before…what control do we have.

We all have a Purpose in this life and are given so much time to achieve that purpose.

There is a school of thought; when we die, if we haven’t completed our lesson we get to choose how we will come back, what we will experience. That could take the form of being wealthy or poor, handicapped or an athlete, to live a long life or only for a day.

We may not control how we live out that choice and maybe that is called fate, but at some point we have control.

Choices, free will, and the ability to think from both sides of our brain

And there is that whole Free Will thing.  We have the freedom (well most of us) to choose how we live our life. The choices we make may change today’s destiny and delay the final outcome, yet in the end we are right back where we started; naked.

Madagascar lead

 

 I would love to read your thoughts on this question.

Leave a comment, or like/follow me so I can read what you post.

Shy, Reserved, Proud

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It isn’t often I mention that I’m a Vet.

Only a handful of people know, mostly ‘relatives’.  When mom died, (Veteran; US Air Force) I stopped long enough to remember that she gave birth to me in an Army hospital; that my dad served two tours in Vietnam fixing the helicopters; and that two of my uncles were in the Army.Image

Always heard that those who served in a war don’t talk much about what happened. I never asked my dad about his stories, what he did or what happened–wish I had. Bet he would have only shared a little of it anyway.

There is one story that an old boyfriend shared with me. He was stationed in Vietnam and his job was to pick body parts from the trees. He said it was important to send them home with their dog tags so the family could mourn. I heard that story nearly 32 years ago and I can still see his face as he told me.He never shared much more than that, but he didn’t need to.

I have been honored to watch Native Americans honor veterans during traditional Sun Dance ceremony and Pow Wow’s. I’ve had friends tell me to take part as they raise a flag, and I always stood in the shadows. Not because I was ashamed, but because I never felt that my service really mattered. After all I didn’t go to war.

Last week friends posted about how the American flag carries a less than honorable image. That they think of racism and hate when they see it. I understand that there are some really bad people out there that use ‘america’ (lower case intentional) as a shield so they can do and say really horrible things. I don’t understand why others accept it.

So today I stand proud to be a veteran. I stand proud to speak my mind about the importance of honoring those who serve. Regardless of your political beliefs or personal stories of war, here’s a great story from Harley’s for Heroes. 

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Leading the fight is U S Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt, known as ‘Iron Mike’ or just ‘Gunny’. He is on his third tour in Iraq. He had become a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star for disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his second tour. Then, on September 19, he got blown up. He had arrived at a chaotic scene after a bomb had killed four US Marines. He chose not to wear the bulky bomb protection suit. ‘You can’t react to any sniper fire and you get tunnel-vision,’ he explains. So, protected by just a helmet and standard-issue flak jacket, he began what bomb disposal officers term ‘the longest walk’, stepping gingerly into a 5 foot deep and 8 foot wide crater. 

The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao base station with a wire leading from it. He cut the wire and used his 7 inch knife to probe the ground. ‘I found a piece of red detonating cord between my legs,’ he says. ‘That’s when I knew I was screwed.’ Realizing he had been sucked into a trap, Sgt Burghardt, 35, yelled at everyone to stay back. At that moment, an insurgent, probably watching through binoculars, pressed a button on his mobile phone to detonate the secondary device below the sergeant’s feet ‘A chill went up the back of my neck and then the bomb exploded,’ he recalls. ‘As I was in the air I remember thinking, ‘I don’t believe they got me..’ I was just ticked off they were able to do it. Then I was lying on the road, not able to feel anything from the waist down.’

His fellow Marines cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None could believe his legs were still there ‘My dad’s a Vietnam vet who’s paralyzed from the waist down,’ says Sgt Burghardt. ‘I was lying there thinking I didn’t want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for him to see me like that. They started to cut away my pants and I felt a real sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and I thought, ‘Good, I’m in business.’ As a stretcher was brought over, adrenaline and anger kicked in. ‘I decided to walk to the helicopter. I wasn’t going to let my team-mates see me being carried away on a stretcher.’ He stood and gave the insurgents who had blown him up a one-fingered salute. ‘I flipped them one’. It was like, ‘OK, I lost that round but I’ll be back next week.’

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Copies of a photograph depicting his defiance, taken by Jeff Bundy for the Omaha World-Herald, adorn the walls of homes across America and that of Col John Gronski, the brigade commander in Ramadi, who has hailed the image as an exemplar of the warrior spirit. Sgt Burghardt’s injuries – burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks – kept him off duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket home. But, like his father – who was awarded a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam – he stayed in Ramadi to engage in the battle against insurgents who are forever coming up with more ingenious ways of killing Americans.