Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Diet Coke With Lime Drought

Note to self: Remember to get Diet Coke with Lime out of trunk of car before husband leaves in the morning. I'm like a junkie without a fix today and my head aches now from my inadvertent caffeine withdrawal.

Someone asked today if my daughter likes to play with dress-up clothes. She's the opposite. She often pulls off her shirt and rarely keeps on her socks. She spent most of her day clad only in her size 2T Osh-Kosh cotton underpants dotted with little flowers. She's unbearably cute these days. I can't believe her polite manners. She'll say to me, "Please can I spill this water?" during lunch to check if I'll let her pour her cup of water into her noodle soup. She'll say "Please can I hit [DaycareKid]?"

YoungestBoy had such a bad dream this morning just before he woke up that he came to me with tears dripping down his face, clutching his forehead, asking if he could stay home from school. He wouldn't tell me what the dream was about, but apparently the horror faded because he went off to school without a problem when it was finally time for him to go. After school, I asked again about the dream and it turned out to be a dream in which his brother "annihilated" him during a fierce game of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I did not laugh, though I was tempted.

Hawaii has sent us a gift of balmy winds and torrential rains. Today, the rain abated and I took the toddlers for a walk around the block. YoungestBoy and TwinBoyB rode their bikes. After the frozen temperatures last week, the fifty degree breeze today felt positively tropical. I inspected my sidewalk flower pots and discovered the daffodils are up, as are the tulips. I love spring! I need to get out and cut down last year's perennials. The daisies are already growing.

My husband went to a funeral today. He did not participate and he didn't even know the man, but he cried anyway. Remember him? The Military Guy Down the Street? Well, he is home on leave. A week or two ago, I saw him at the Friday night Bible study I attend for young couples. His son, now almost two months old, looks exactly like him. He and his wife were so happy that he was granted leave while his only child is still a newborn. Military Guy leaves for Mosul, Iraq, on Friday, so last Sunday, he was the lay-reader at church.

The lay-reader leads the congregation in various liturgical readings and scripture readings. Then, the lay-reader traditionally asks members of the congregation to spontaneously stand and give thanks to God.

Military Guy began the time of thanksgiving by mentioning how thankful he is for our church family's support of his wife and son. Then, he told us that last week, on the 13th, the man who was doing his job (leading a platoon) in Mosul, Iraq, was killed by a roadside bomb.

He cried a little as he revealed this information. It could have been him. It so easily could have been him. If he weren't home on leave, it would have been him leading his platoon.

So, today, my husband went to the funeral of the man who died in Military Guy's place. The military has a heart-wrenching practice of placing a soldier's empty boots and helmet on display during his memorial service. The image of that alone brings tears to my eyes and then when I imagine Military Guy giving a eulogy for this man who took his place, I can't swallow the lump in my throat and my eyes swim in tears. My husband told me he cried and he didn't even know the guy.

But we all know a Guy like that, don't we? That Guy is just like Military Guy down the street--could have actually been Military Guy down the street. That Guy is a man who volunteered to go to Iraq, who wanted to lead his soldiers, who chose sacrifice over an office job, even though retirement loomed in his near future. Guys like him are my heroes, men who have children who look just like them, who are soft-spoken and gentle and kind, men who believe in freedom and justice and democracy, men who somehow put aside the horrors of war to bounce their babies on their shoulders and grin at their wives during their infrequent leaves. Guys like this cry when they lose their buddies and then get on the plane to finish the job they started.

And so, another day ends with big thoughts (War, Love, Sacrifice) amidst the wreckage of another day done. My head hurts and I'm not sure it's from the lack of caffeine alone.

5 Comments:

Blogger Wash Lady said...

Once again, your words reach gently across the miles and hold the hand of my soul like a trusted friend.

That was a really nice post.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Very powerful blog. What else to say?

Side note: are you saying that you are a Diet Coke fiend too?

4:18 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

What a post. Wow.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Thanks Mel, from a military wife.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

Oh, I do know guys like that...and I am grateful for them..

On a lighter note, I love what you wrote about BabyGirl asking if she can spill and hit...

3:27 PM  

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