Saturday, November 13, 2010
November 13, 2010
I took a little time away on a road trip but now I’m back. So I’ll update you on both mom and dad.
Mom is doing well. The only symptom she is still having is hair loss from the cranial radiation. It’s not a 100% guarantee it will grow back BUT we did spot what appears to be new hair sprouts coming in so we are holding on to hope in the hair department. Mom did develop some leg issues which we do not know if it is a result of the cancer, the treatments, or if it is unrelated. The good news is that they did an ultra sound on her leg to make sure it’s not a blood clot. I was there when they did the ultrasound and we’re happy to report that there are no blood clots. I then asked the nurse if it was going to be a girl or a boy and mom almost fell off the table laughing. I guess laughter is great medicine until it threatens bodily harm. Luckily she did not fall off the table and we all had a great laugh.
A blog this time of year would not be complete without some solute to either Veterans, All Saints Day or Thanksgiving. Today I will solute our Veterans.
My dad and my brother are veterans. They both served in times of war and they both have stories to tell. Some of those stories are forever hidden in the archives of Dad’s memories and access to them becomes more and more restricted as time goes by. But whether or not we hear all the stories does not matter. Both my father and my brother wrote a blank check to the United States at one time that included a payout of their life, if required. We thank God that they both arrived back on US soil safely and unharmed. Many are not so lucky. Have you ever had the chance to stare in to the eyes of a current soldier serving overseas? I know a young man who is stationed in Kandahar and every single day is faced with the possibility of losing his friends and his own life. I see his photos on Facebook and his eyes tell so many stories. I also have a dear friend from college serving as a physician assistant in Jalalabad and by the photos it appears she spends a lot of time in a helicopter. I look at her photos on Facebook as well and I see her brave face and think that I’m not sure I could be that brave. When she has a busy day or night it means that many of our service men and women were hurt. They count on her to save them and she rises to the occasion with so much pride and confidence.
When I look at the photos of my two friends in Kandahar and Jalalabad, and of my brother when he was part of Desert Storm, and my father during the start of the Vietnam war – they have one thing in common. In their daily face-off with death – they continue to smile. Their smiles are beautiful.
And now I watch both of my parents fighting their own wars. Mom has cancer and Dad has Alzheimer’s. They have not seen their enemy face-to-face and may never have that chance. Their enemy strikes at any time with a variety of assaults. But in the face of their enemies they can still round up a smile.
So what brings a smile to your face today? What war are you battling right now that you can battle with a brave smile? Oh you don’t have to smile all the time. There are times of crying, shouting, screaming, sadness and frowning – but can you muster the strength today to show the world that, in the midst of your own war, in the heat of the battle and the rush of the fire-fight, you are still able to flash a smile?