Tag Archives: PTS

Don’t Wait to Say You Care!

life-handle-with-care

A friend of mine recently posted some wonderful family photos on FB. I miss her, we grew up together and her Mr. Man took her to the opposite coast. They have had a wonderful life as far away from tragedy they could get and still be in the United States. Her FB photos of her handsome grandson triggered nightmares for me. I’m writing this post to try to exorcise the negativity and avoid stress eating my lunch. My nightmares centered on the dichotomy of the following paragraph. I’ll try not to be in too much of a rant in the following comments.

My friend’s father is the reason that I am a Christian.  Mr. P. was the kindest man I had met growing up.  He demonstrated his kindness as a Christ follower in ways that the rest of us aspire to in more flawed ways.  (So glad I don’t have to work my way into heaven!)  He was a loving father, husband and son.  He served his fellow man in all the ways he could.  Isn’t there always a “but” with humans?  But, he suffered from multiple personality disorder.  We never knew until a horrible thing happened.  He was tried and convicted of the horrible thing and went to jail, never remembering the horrible thing that Jack did.  It left Mr. P. a broken man to think he did this horrible thing and a week of this life was forgotten. What was left was a soul shattered life missing important pieces.

Fast forward to this morning: My co-worker brought her coffee cup into my office today and expounded on the self-centered nature of drivers. On and on she went as if she had saved up all her words to use on this one subject. I agree that we have become a self-centered and sometimes narcissist culture. My co-worker was upset because a vehicle was slow moving, often at erratic speeds. Her niece was driving, yelling at the man, her 18 year old friend in the back seat flipped him off as they passed. My co-workers concern was for possible retaliation, not that the driver might be impaired or the young adults need some anger management and road rage training.

The nightmare, still fresh in my mind, of Mr. P. driving around for a week before being picked up by the police stumbling, hungry, dehydrated and incoherent, rambling as one of his lesser personalities asserted himself. What if Mr. P. had been that erratic driver? What if it was one of my military heroes who suffer daily with PTS? There is a host of mental illness, medical conditions, grief and stress that could result in an erratic speed, not just distracted driving or a jerk driving as a self-appointed traffic monitor . Caution should be a virtue practiced at all times. I tend to practice the negative form of caution, cynicism. Either would have worked, as well as a touch of empathy, during this driver training exercise between my co-worker and her niece.

I have driven at erratic speeds, appearing fine to the world, while grief was crushing my chest like a 500 lb. weight. I would give much to say thank you to Mr. P. for all his kindness and unconditional love to an awkward young girl. I would give even more to erase the horrible thing from their lives. I would trade the rest of my life to be able to be with my beloved. The opportunity is gone. I must wait until my time to see Jesus is due and then I can see them all again. I grieve words not spoken, the road not taken.

Tell your loved ones you care, not only that you love them, but that you care about them. Give them a hug! Cut people some slack and eliminate provoking behavior from your daily life. How much better would this life be if we didn’t swear at each other, call names or gesture obscenely? Consider how you can improve the quality of your life in how you conduct yourself. Dare to care for the human race by being kind!

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Filed under Grief, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Marriage, PTSD

Thirty Two Years A Friend – In Memory of My Beloved

mac-laughing-cameoAugust 30th marks thirty two years of friendship, now lost to this world. I still count the years even though my beloved has been gone these past few years. He is still the best friend I ever had. He was a kind gentleman with a pleasant (and oft corny) greeting ready.  My beloved always respected the boundaries of marriage when I was married to an abusive man, and was always kind to me. He was just a friend, then a friend in need, and then my beloved friend indeed. He was the last of his line, sixth or seventh generation Californian of 100% Scottish descent. He would say he was all Pict. He was handsome to me but, he felt self conscious about his Scottish nose. Always humble about his looks as well as his brilliant mind. He left behind a handsome body without an ounce of fat and a brilliant mind. Dust now but always alive in my mind.

I was an ugly woman during my pregnancy but, he always had a kind word for me. My ex insisted his five months pregnant wife go with him to chop and haul firewood. In retrospect, I think he had hoped I would miscarry. I was horribly naïve in those days and believed everything I was told. I returned home spotting blood, with an extremely severe case of poison oak that lasted until I gave birth and they could shoot me up with steroids. It was nasty, oozing and ugly and covered 80% of my body.

How my beloved could say I was beautiful pregnant is beyond me. He saw things in people I never could. The things he saw were truthful; it just took time to show up. I became beautiful because he loved me into it. I wanted to be the best I could be because it is what he deserved.  My heart and mind were changed because of his enduring kindness and love. He never yelled at me, threw things at me, called me names or put me down. He was capable of great anger and I did make him mad on occasion but, he always chose kindness.

My beloved was a tactical man, a warrior. He was finely honed in body and mind, he drove himself ruthlessly. He could ride (m/c and horses), shoot, track, capture, break/fix, cook and specialized in ECM. He could drop a cocky CHP officer in less than 6 seconds and leave him wondering what happened.  The army believed he had cheated in survival school because he gained weight and sent him through again. (Duck roasted on hot rocks in the sun can be tasty). He served the country he loved both in the military and privately for an alphabet agency. He lived with the knowledge that forever alters your life when you see the evil that men can do.  He often said as long as there was evil in this world, there was a need for men like him.  He suffered from PTS but hid it well from most people. He was a gifted engineer and at one time a critical piece of 80% of all computers in the world was a result of his work or design. He was brilliant and he gave his brilliance to others making several other people millionaires. He gave his wealth away.  He loved people.

One year before his death, as his health began to degrade; he purchased two small life insurance policies in addition to the one he had carried for decades. It made the difference in my life now so I would not have to struggle and lose everything we had worked for. I can still keep and drive his truck that is overpowered with an 8 liter engine.  It hauls around our grandchildren of the heart and pulls the RV he never wanted to own.  (Sorry honey, when you don’t stick around, wives do stuff!) He cared enough to plan for my future without him. He lived on adrenaline.  His high school year book quotes him as the most likely to die before age 30, his tired body quit him at 52.

He loved children and spent his time caring for those thrown away by their parents. Because of his upbringing and early days of extreme hunger, he never let anyone leave his presence hungry. It was not uncommon for him to feed 12 people at lunch time or dinner. He often took someone with us for Saturday or Sunday morning breakfasts. It was expensive but, as an automation engineer, it was how he chose to spend his money. It fit with my Italian ancestry, to feed someone is to love them.

He was not perfect, just perfect for me. He could not and would not practice a work/home life balance. He could not pull back and rest so when he caught pneumonia and the call came to assist someone, he went. I begged him not to go, I went with him and watched as he heaved up the water from his lungs and begged him with tears to go to the hospital.  He was stubborn to the very last and refused.  He expended his very last reserve serving others and died the next day on his terms.

   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

You were the greatest love and lover I will ever know. Rest now my love, my gorgeous man.

The angels danced in delight and Jesus must have been waiting for you as you took the express lane to heaven and your eternal reward.  You touched so many lives and where you were was a better place because of you.  You are still missed!

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Filed under Grief, Marriage, PTSD