Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Letters from home

It is hard sometimes to listen openly to my father. I love him deeply and wish very much that he could be here rather than deployed. And yet, that love requires of me that I actually listen to him, to his perspective, to try to understand even if I can't agree. Especially difficult have been the 10 war diary entries he's sent home to the hometown newspaper.

I've been avoiding news scrupulously. At one point in the last deployment, I was driving home when I heard the news over the radio that some National Guardsmen had been killed from our home state, and had to pull over to get control of myself before I could continue my trip. Since most radio stations put the news right next to the weather and traffic, I've discovered that a peek out the window can serve as my weather forecast, and I can take my chances on traffic if need be.

And so, I had these diary entries, and I fully admit it: I've been afraid to read them. They've sat on my computer, waiting for me to gather courage to read them. I've written back and forth with other family members, spoken passionately, and poured my heartache out here now and again, but I would avoid looking at those files. And now, I'm trying and it's very hard. There are parts that have me wanting to cry. There are parts where I want to talk back to the words, or maybe to my dad, asking why.

And there's one other thing in there that is very hard. My dad is well aware of my opposition to this war, and of my belief that violence begets violence. When I write to him, I neither make impassioned cases for my beliefs nor do I disguise them. And yet, now that I'm beginning to read his entries, I've come across his reference to a question I asked, trying to understand when I was younger. I asked him how, as a doctor, he could join the military where people are trained to kill when he had pledged himself to save lives.

It was a hard question to ask, and apparantly, a hard one to be asked. He addresses it with words nearly identical to some of mine in a previous post, pointing out that there is more to being a soldier than death, though he does not go on to point out that there is more to a soldier than being a soldier. I've sent him a copy of that post, along with an apology.


Blogger Don said...

Thank you for your writing. I enjoy what you have written. I've turned on commenting on my new blog at Wordpress. I miss your input. I pray everyday that this madness will end and that once again you and your father will be reunited in person. Peace. ;-) Don

3/31/2007 11:17 AM  

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