I am of an age that I grew up with war being fought. I was a youngster then…living on a normal street, going to the neighborhood school, enduring my own family issues…just as everyone else. And, as neighborhoods do flourish, my family knew and was friends with many others on our street. As a young girl, I and my sister had girl friends that lived up and down the block. We were all our own unique selves, growing into young ladies, different hair color, eye color, different likes and desires for who we would be when we grew up. Typical of a neighborhood street in Anytown America.
But, the one thing we young ladies on that street had in common was…the crush we had on the young man down the street. He was the neighbors’ boy…older than we, of course. He was just out of high school…and the most beautiful man any of us had ever seen. He seemed, to us, as tall as a giant. He had a booming but tender and friendly voice. It was the era for long hair…and he had plenty…golden with flecks of red and auburn and brown that glowed in the sun…like a halo we all thought. His family were friends, so we saw him often…many times sitting on his front porch with his parents, talking, spending good time with them. Or washing the cars in the driveway. Or chasing his sister around the front yard, teasing. And he was sweet to us…always waving and talking when we had the courage to steal to the yard and say hello. No matter what he did, we saw him perfect. He was our Golden Man, our image to grow up wishing our husbands to be.
Then, one day, news came that he would be going away for awhile. Everyone was sad, and frightened…and we did not fully understand why. We were told he was going off to war, to fight for our country, for our freedoms, and for the people of another country who had no freedom like we did. And still, we children did not quite understand why people had to fight, let alone shoot guns, for something we all thought everyone should …just have…by right of human nature.
So we watched our Golden Man pack his belongings, say farewell to everyone, and leave…his parents weeping for they worried he would not return. And we wept too.
Two years later…our Golden Man came home. He had been wounded, badly, and needed time to heal and rest…so we were not permitted to see him for a long while. When he finally emerged from the house…it was only to sit in the porch chair, where his parents used to sit talking with him…but now, it was different. Our Golden Man sat, head hanging low, and barely spoke. He did not laugh, or tease, or chase anyone around the yard. When we got close enough to say hello, a sadness came over me as I looked into his eyes…for what I saw there was not what Golden Man had left with. I only understood what that meant a little later in my growth as I became a young woman. And it made me sadder still.
So, I offer a prayer of gratitude to our Golden Man of youth…and to all the men and women who have taken up this cause of fighting for their country…for whether they return or not…they give their lives away, so that we can have ours.
I, myself, if I may say…do not believe in war and fighting and killing for a cause, any cause. It is not what we are put here for. We are here to live and love, not to hate and fight. The killing going on in the world today is senseless. We should be embracing life, not taking it away. There IS a spot for every human here…if we allowed each one to take their spot and grow within it, and help the neighbor in the next spot, and the next…until we are all Linked By The Light Of Our Souls.
I did not understand, way back then, why Golden Man had to go to war…and come back broken. In truth, I do not understand it much better now. BUT…I DO Honor those men and women who give so much of themselves for what they think is right…and for all our sakes. I just wish they did not have to give up so much and suffer so…as do their families.
And so…In Honor of Golden Man, and All Other Men and Women…Thank You…and Bless You…and May You Find Peace In Your Lives In Some Way. And May the Light of Love and Gratitude be with You!