A SWEET SCENT OF LIFE |
July 27, 2012
Name: Mike T.
Returned from: Afghanistan
Milblog: c/o bouhammer.com
I race to the door before the storm hits, the chance to steal a second of the moment when that rain scent ignites the air, to feel the cool breeze that sends a small chill through your soul. I stand, staring into the ridgeline as the clouds gather in mass and the blistering sun seems helpless and retreats for a sparing moment. And then one by one they multiply; the sweet rain drops begin to fall. I just linger there in the safety of the porch's cover, thinking in silence until it is broken by laughter.
The culprits; my beautiful wife and son playing in the living room. I peek through the open window just to watch and listen in amazement. They have become the brightest of my colors, stopping the beating of my heart at times. They fill my soul with compassion and tenderness but even more, strength. As I turn back to admire the storm I can’t help myself; I have an overwhelming feeling of relief.
I have an amazing family that loves and cares for me so much, and for this life to come full circle is a blessing. I have finally made it to where I value the quiet bliss of holding my son while in the rocking chair, feeling his subtle heartbeat against my chest or playing lion, where we rub noses together and laugh. I revel in watching my wife move about the house while singing her favorite country songs,and holding her and simply saying “I love you." She takes my pain away and eases my fears. For all her beauty and compassion, I find it is her forgiving eyes that consume me the most.
As I look east of the property I gleefully watch the lavender suckles succumb to the heavy rain. As it falls, it relinquishes its scent overpowering its predecessor, the rain. Still the laughter continues through the open window. I hear the music in my head. These are the lyrics that have kept me remembering the very best of this life. Some say the best is yet to come; for me the best has arrived.
For the war I know is over. I have come to terms with my little piece of it. I have taken ownership of my version of PTSD. Part of me believes that I will never recover from it, nor should I. Someone once said “You can never truly heal from anything," and I am fine with that. I think that will be a constant reminder for me to always appreciate what I have and continue on for those who didn’t come back home.
I slowly shift my weight and begin making my way to the door, following the pleasant sounds of laughter and small screeches, my son’s version of talking to us. I think to myself; I should laugh more, cry more, love with compassion, dance and sing more, bite my tongue a bit more and remember how this life is what I fought for. More...
This is for my wife and son, as you have given me life, joy, happiness, a sense of purpose. But most importantly you have shown me new colors, and they are so bright. I thank you.
Editor's note: The Sandbox will be on vacation until the week of August 20th.