I skipped right to this one because the rest of the stuff that they wanted me to do in the 30 day thing were total bullshit. Not to be rude, but it is what it is...
So I'm done with that. But the one task that's left that I'm going to do is this. Why? Because I'm a soldier who has seen death, destruction and mayhem up close. And due to that fact I have a totally irrational and completely unnatural fascination with my own death.
Yes, its kinda twisted but, anything, when looked at properly can be fun.
A long time ago, I wrote all about...My first shot at death.
Good times back then.
I wondered all about this. What the hell am I going to write? Where is this coming from? Should I even be thinking about this? Why am I listening to Amazing Grace while I'm writing this post? Why do I keep thinking about Buckets, my father, my mother, Afghanistan...and why can't I get Cheena out of my head?
It all kind of crystallized for me when I remembered what my father has etched on his tombstone. "Loving him was easier than anything I'll ever do again"
Courtesy of my mother.
Then it came to me, that I'm going to have to chase the ghost again for a while. Or forever, who knows for sure. Because I want loving me to be easier than anything anyone will ever do again. Pretty lofty goal. Let's tone it down a bit, and go with "I want loving me to be easier than anything somebody (singular) will ever do again." Yeah, that should be a bit easier to pull off.
Using that as a life goal, I came up with this...
Mud puppy was born willful. He came into this world on 7-7-78. Just one year late of being born under one hell of a good sign. He was always the most willful person I've ever known. It began shortly after he could walk when he was playing with the neighborhood kids, most of whom were older than him. They made merciless fun of the fact that he still had to wear diapers. In response, he marched right into his house and announced to his mother that he would no longer wear diapers. She told him that if he didn't wear them then he was going to have to use the toilet like a big boy. He agreed. And that was it. Never had to wear diapers again. He was born in a different time when mothers still spanked their children, and he got it worse because of that willfulness. But to this day his mother recalls spanking his butt over something that has long since been forgotten. What hasn't been forgotten is the look of absolute resolution and determination in Mud Puppy's eyes as he looked up at her and said, "You can't hurt me" No matter the tears welling in his eyes, or his voice cracking from the pain. He'd be damned if he was going to let ANYONE get the best of him. This willfulness carried over into everything in his life.
When he was 16 and he got a concussion in football, the doctor told him that he would not be able to play football anymore. He only sat out a week.
When he was 19 he was told that he was no good and couldn't keep attending college. He was told to go on home where he'd be safe. He joined the army before the ink was dry on his expulsion papers.
When he was 22 they told him that the Bataan death march was too much for him. He finished the march twice in honor of all the vet's that had died in that hellish march.
When he was 25 they told him that he wasn't smart enough for college and would need to take remedial classes before being allowed to take regular ones, but he should think about tech school or one of the trade unions. He graduated summa cum laude 3 years later...and went on to fucking grad school!
When he was 26 he was fired from a job. Told he was a useless employee with a bad attitude and a bad mouth. He finished college and has been working for the Feds for 3 years now, never getting an evaluation of less than "superior"
He traveled the entire world before he hit 30. He fell in love, he got married, he got divorced but he has never stopped loving that girl, but she's long gone now. He had a lot of friends, but only a few good ones. He educated himself from cradle to the grave. Devouring books, regardless of situation. Even carrying a beat up paperback in his cargo pocket throughout his wars.
Then he found her. She was the one and he knew it about 10 seconds after he met her. She knocked him dead on his ass from day one. When he was with her he didn't want to be anywhere else, when he was away from her, he couldn't wait to be with her again. He showed her off to everyone like she was the queen of the nile and to him, she was. And to borrow from Jimmy Buffet here, She was a fine wife, they had a good life and she bore him a young son...
He spent every waking spare moment of his life from that day forward living completely and unconditionally for his family. He cared for them the best he could, and gave up whatever was required without complaint. Their happiness was all that ever mattered.
Shortly before he died, I was walking with him as his son and his wife strolled ahead of us talking about his son's new job and their new grandchild. And he told me that he was wanting to buy a boat with some of his savings. I thought this was a good idea, keep him busy and moving around. Right after I told him that his son turned and asked his father if he would loan him the money he needed for a downpayment on a house because he didn't want to raise his family in an apartment. Without batting an eye he said "Sure, whatever you need kid". That was it. Just like that the boat was gone. Later, I asked him what had happened to that willful young man that I had known in our youth. He never would have given up his boat without a fight? He looked up at me and smirked, "he's still in there, but loving them is easier than anything I'll ever do again." And then he winked at me.
He lived a life that spanned many years, and a million miles, buckets of blood, gallons of sweat and tears like the falling rain. He never backed down from a challenge and he took every hit life could dish out with a smirk and a wink and he kept right on going. He loved his family more than any man I have ever known, and he died happy because for them as for me, Loving him was easier than anything I'll ever do again...
The parts of that written in plain text have already been done. The stuff in italics I still gotta get done.
I love you Mom...
P.S. Airman mom, sorry it took so long.