Soldier On

“I’m trying to break a 50 year habit,” my father said when I asked how he was doing. “I have to figure out how to cook for one person now.”

He went to describe that he sometimes  thinks my mother is in another room or coming home from somewhere despite her passing two months ago today (9/11). Yet, everyday he gets up and he soldiers on. Perhaps it’s because my father was a soldier in the U. A. Air Force, albeit briefly. 

My father served his country until he fell ill and couldn’t any longer. I never asked him why he chose to join but I know his big brother, Johnnie, was/is a Marine. My uncle Johnny survived Vietnam, even though it left scars which have been apparent to me since I was a young girl. My uncle got a new one when he lost his longtime love suddenly little more than a year ago. He has found a way to march on too.

Less than a year before she died, my mom took a picture with the soldiers in her life, my dad and my uncle Johnnie. I look at the photo now and know that there are three fighters in it. 

My mother fought and beat Cancer twice while living her life to the fullest and enriching the lives of others. And, she did it in a country my father and uncle struggled to defend despite obstacles like racism, poverty, and the death of their father when they were young. It took courage to be them back then and it takes even more now as they go on without their loved ones by their side. But, I know based on the perseverance they’ve shown in the past, these loss won’t stop them. 

#HappyVeteransDay #ThankYouForYourService #marriage #cancer #blackfamily #invisibleillness #chronicillness #spoonie #death #grief #Vietnam #marine #wednesdaymotivation

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