Like another lifetime
Yet the same lives,
My dad, your husband,
Is off fighting the war
Your thoughts are with him,
Wondering, is he safe?
Is he hungry?
Will he make it home?
Not wanting to think about it,
Not wanting to watch the news,
But worrying nonetheless.
My little sister wonders too
Though it looks like she’s playing
Making lines in the dirt
Like a meditation.
I stand quietly.
Wondering how to help.
Maybe just standing by your side.
Now, I understand
How strong you really were.
This photo is one of the treasures I’ve found as I go through the things that belonged to my parents, Betty and Jim. It was taken in 1967 when my father was in Vietnam and we were visiting relatives in Connecticut. Whoever took it had a good eye for capturing the moment. It’s very different from most of the photos I find where my mother is older, posing with a smile or volunteering at church or the soup kitchen with Dad.
When I was growing up, my mother suffered from depression that caused her to be hospitalized more than once. The last nervous breakdowns came when Dad was in Vietnam. For many years I thought of my mother as weak. She was always kind, but a little fuzzy in the brain. I wanted her to be strong.
Now, I get the fuzzy brain too, like: “why did I come into this room?” Now, when I look at this photo, I feel compassion.
After Mom died in 2008, I asked my dad what helped him get through the horrors that haunted him from Vietnam – things he didn’t want to talk about because they gave him nightmares.
“It was your mother’s love,” he told me.
I always knew they loved each other very much. But I had not known this:
My mother’s love was strong enough to save the strongest man I’ve ever known.
Yesterday, I wished my mom a happy birthday. I’m glad she and Dad are together again. Strong in faith. Strong in love.
March 22, 2018 at 3:06 am
What a beautifully touching story and tribute to your Mom. ❤️ There is so much strength in love!
March 22, 2018 at 9:22 am
Thank you, Hayley. I’m still learning how much! ❤
March 22, 2018 at 4:19 am
A wonderful story, JoAnna. I have always been grateful that the time and place I was born meant that I never had to go to war.
March 22, 2018 at 9:25 am
I am grateful you didn’t have to go, too, Derrick. My father fought in both Korea and Vietnam. He survived and did good work, but there was a significant cost. Thanks for your genuine comment.
March 22, 2018 at 7:44 am
Such a touching reflection. For some reason, reading the line, “My mother’s love was strong enough to save the strongest man I’ve ever known” caused my lips curl in a smile and at the same time my eyes to feel a surge of tears.
March 22, 2018 at 9:18 am
Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m moved that it moved you in this way. My father’s answer was quite an awakening for me. It’s one of my favorite parts of my book.
March 22, 2018 at 9:26 am
My pleasure! 🙂
March 22, 2018 at 7:55 am
Reblogged this on Mitigating Chaos and commented:
A beautiful story, worth sharing.
March 22, 2018 at 9:26 am
Thank you very much, Ray. I’m honored by your comment.
March 22, 2018 at 10:07 am
This is a beautiful tribute to your mom, JoAnna. So many times, we see strength but we don’t see what is supporting the strong person.
March 22, 2018 at 8:22 pm
Thank you, Dan. I love how your put this into perspective.
March 22, 2018 at 10:17 am
This is so loving and insightful. Your words moved me to tears.
March 22, 2018 at 8:43 pm
Thank you so much, Nicole. I am honored by your tears and thoughtfulness.
March 22, 2018 at 4:31 pm
Wonderful story, thank you for sharing!!
March 22, 2018 at 8:23 pm
Thank you, Wilson. I am honored and happy you liked it.
March 23, 2018 at 3:57 pm
Your story is amazing, you deserve an appreciation!
March 22, 2018 at 11:18 pm
Wow this is wonderful JoAnna! 🙂 ❤ xoxoxoxoxo
March 22, 2018 at 11:37 pm
Thank you, Natalie. That means a lot to me. ❤ This one kept me up late last night. 🙂 xoxoxoxoxo
March 23, 2018 at 2:50 am
Well you did a brilliant job! It is awesome love❤️❤️❤️😘😘😘
March 23, 2018 at 5:46 pm
What a wonderful story JoAnna, It really touched my heart. Thanks for sharing. ❤ ❤ 🙂
March 23, 2018 at 10:09 pm
Thank you! I’m so glad it touched you this way. ❤
March 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm
Touching story JoAnna. What a gift to share that kind of love.
March 24, 2018 at 9:40 pm
I’m realizing more and more just what a big gift it was. Thanks, Brad.
April 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm
I’ve been holding onto this blog to read, and it was so worth the wait. It choked me up. There is so much that we get clarity on as we grow older, isn’t there. What a beautiful story and so happy for you, to know this truth about your mother. ❤️
April 2, 2018 at 12:15 am
I’m moved that it meant so much to you, that you held it and saved it for the right time. Yes. this clarity as we get older thing has got me wondering what else is out there, in here….on our inner horizon. We never stop learning. Always an adventure. ❤
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April 4, 2018 at 8:59 pm
April 7, 2018 at 7:35 pm
April 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm
April 11, 2018 at 12:56 am
Beautiful writing. Touching message.
April 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm
Thank you very much!
April 20, 2018 at 11:06 am
Your story brought tears to my eyes and ministered to my core. Nothing life family, nothing like true love.
April 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm
Oh, thank you for sharing this. I’m honored that my story moved you. It’s true that there’s nothing like family and true love. Wishing you peace.
April 28, 2018 at 11:43 am
How beautifully you described,my eyes are moist,and my heart broken.
April 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm
Thank you for understanding. Let our hearts be lifted up. Be at peace.
May 1, 2018 at 9:57 am
Your words are very comforting and I am honored to read your words.
May 13, 2018 at 7:57 am
Wow such a wonderful story. So touching .
Here is the link to the story written by me about a mother and her daughter https://wp.me/p9tZ21-5j
If you like my work then please follow back.
Thanks in advance. Have a nice day.
May 14, 2018 at 11:54 am
Thank you! I’ll go there now, to read your story.
May 14, 2018 at 12:03 pm
if you like my work kindly follow my blog 🙂
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