Mary E. Rogers

THE ANSWER

Tim, I can speak from experience. We hurt and we want so bad to make things better. We get angry at ourselves because no matter how much we love we can’t take it away. We must learn that we didn’t cause it and we can’t fix it. We must learn that our Vet is doing the very best they can and that’s all that can be expected. We learn when to talk, we learn when to stay silent, but we don’t learn when to stop loving.

I look back over 25 years. 25 years of sometimes being choked in the night because I was the enemy that needed to be dealt with. I look back at the times when he couldn’t be inside a building because it might get bombed. I look back at the times when we had to sit in the back pew at church, near a door, JUST IN CASE. I suffer terrible nightmares of his nightmares. I took care of him through a terrible illness that affected me and affects me and my kids yet and probably always will.

Would I change anything if I could? No I wouldn’t because he loved us dearly. He wept over the things he did in the darkness of night. He could never bring himself completely home, but all that he could bring home was ours. He did the very best he could do and he loved with everything inside himself that was still left.

If this poem is about you and my dear friend, Robin, then let me tell you something. She will hurt but she will love you anyhow. She will know that you are doing the very best you can and she will be more than satisfied with the love you can give to her. Why would she do that? Because she loves you and she understands, and she lives for the love you give to her. And because we know that the love we get is better than no love at all. And she also knows that all of her love for you can’t fix a thing that you are dealing with.

It is sometimes a lonely place to be, in love with a Veteran. But it is one we wouldn’t trade for anything or anyone else in the world. Give her some credit. She is strong enough to take it as long as she knows you love her with every bit of yourself that you can give and she can take it as long as she knows she is important and special to you.

And just remember, if you think you cause her pain now, it is nothing compared to the pain she would face without you. As I said, I know.

Love,
Mary

This response was prompted by the poem, “The Answer” – ©Copyright November 29, 2005 by Tim Bone