Mary E. Rogers


Where were you so many years ago
So long ago when I felt nobody knew
Nobody would understand or listen
I told nobody what I went through

I loved my husband and stood by him
Even when I wanted to flee
Flee the horrible nightmares
There was nobody to stand by me

I thought it was just my Rich
I thought I could love him back to me
He came home from war alive
With half his mind across the sea

I carried it all alone, and inside
Nobody ever knew about the night
About the horror of his nightmares
When I was the enemy he had to fight

Where were you so many years ago
Somewhere you were living my life
Loving and staying and almost living
The life of a Vietnam wife

My husband is gone, yours remains
I remember those paths I wandered
I read your words and my heart aches
Sometimes I can only be silent and ponder

Ponder what life would be like for you
If he should go and you remain
Would you know how to live just for you
Would you know how to live without pain

Where were you so many years ago
How I wish I would have known you
Just someone to understand
To understand what I was going through

Yet you have helped me to continue on
To understand it wasn’t me
No matter how hard I tried
From his nightmares he couldn’t be free

He is gone and I remain
But I no longer walk alone
I walk with my sisters and his brothers
And with them a bond has grown

Yes my Rich is free and I still live
In the aftermath of his war
Now I know you did the best you could
Even when you cursed and swore

I know I didn’t cause your pain
And I couldn’t fix it all for you
But I stayed and loved and comforted
Like all of us Vietnam wives do.

Now we have found each other
A bond that cannot be severed
A bond between Vietnam Wives
A bond as tight as between brothers

We didn’t walk their walk in war
But we lived such similar lives
We are sisters and we are proud
And we are forever, The Vietnam Wives

Author’s Note (to the members of the Vietnam Wives on-line group):

These past few weeks, more than ever, I have realized what it means to have our group, Vietnam Wives. I wonder if any of us really know how blessed we are to have each other, or know what a difference we make in each other’s daily lives. Never could I have imagined the support and love and understanding that would develop here.

I have seen the un-severable bond between brothers, and now I have seen an un-severable bond between sisters. I am so glad that a few of us refused to let this group be destroyed. I am so glad that in my toughest times, when I could not be here, someone kept our group going. I have often wondered if life wouldn’t have been better long ago, if I would have had you all back then. But today, I am just glad that we have each other.

We can stand proud, no matter how tough it gets, and know that we have loved and loved and loved, and without us there would have been nobody to stand by our heroes. I think that God must surely be proud of our efforts and I think we should be too.

I dedicate the following to you all… as haphazard as it is. It is just the ramblings of a Vietnam wife who is now an Agent Orange widow, and who is trying to live for herself, and without pain.