"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those it will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."-E. Hemmingway
My wife wants me to live. Sarah has not accepted my death. Sarah returned to Iraq a bit more then two fortnights ago with a secret plan in place. This plan, now come to light, is to cover me with family; daughters, son, brother, nieces, nephews, brother and sister-in-laws. A veritable tsunami of genealogical guardians. All and everyone living with me in a huge house looking over the Pacific. Sarah is brilliant and beautiful and strong.
It is her brillance I face now. Sarah knows this: I am the Patriarch of this family. She knows, she feels, she thinks that she has developed a wonderful two pronged attack. One: There will always be someone within reach of me to prevent disaster. Two: That I am bound by my responsibilities as Patriarch to care for this motley collection with love and affection. That I would never abandon my post for I live to serve. Always have, always will.
As Veterans, Sarah and I both know and live our "First General Order of the Army" (I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.) I have not been relieved.
Now there are lodging decisions, furniture to buy, cars, mental health issues to care for, schools for the kids, grad school for the older kids, jobs. And in command again, Sarah is correct. My loyaties and this family's love does stand me and strengthen me. I need this love and this love needs me.
Yet in a moment the world spins and the universe crashes.
Moving boxes around for more space I open an unmarked box. It is filled with the detritus of my murdered son's room. The world tilts and sways. I stuggle to hold on, to run so that the kids do not see me cry, never see me cry. But I am broken and the is no running in me. A moan of dying and terrible loss escapes as I sequester myself. Tears so hot they burn my face.
I am tired. I am weary. I am done. I need to be relieved.
I am weak from pain. Pain has won. My body is broken and can not be fixed. There is no repair, there are only opiates and the land of nod.
Through a life of horror and terrible deeds and the dead who haunt me, my son's death has left me hollow and indeed broken inside.
The guilt, the sin of having failed my son is a pain I can not abide. Am I weak and timid for desiring death? Visiting my son in his coffin each night is a vision that will not depart.
I go to Mass each morning and pray for my son, pray for everyone. I sit and meditate trying to find that spark to live. I call to the living; show me a reason to stay with this pain, tell me the secret that keeps one alive. What have I wrought through this life that is worth these tears?
All this family, do they really need me? Acting Father to 3 generations was once as easy as breathing. I still support each soul yet now I yearn for each morning and night when I am alone. To remember, to cry, to catologue each sin and search forgiveness.
I want to change my name and dissapear. I want someone to come and officially relieve me of my post.
Forever I have lowered my head and bulled my way through these brutal times. Now I am weak and crippled. To die is easy. To find a path to life is beyond me.
"Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh."- Marcus Aurelius