Of course, the songs that touch a Man most deeply are focused outwards, not inwards. We all of us carry our own scars; that's part of being a Man. A Man doesn't dwell on his scars. But the scars that other people carry - yeah, that's where it cuts you to the heart.
Out of nearly 4,000 posts now (!), this was the only one where I had actual tears streaming down my face when I wrote it. But that one was personal to me, and doesn't really generalize to a broader community.
This one broke my heart when I wrote it, but it was a celebration, and so doesn't really fall into Chris' category. Bittersweet contains its own antidote to tears. Chris brings something different.
Mostly it involves kids. Chris has a song that's about parents, at the end of their journey, which hit pretty close to home. But Dad was lucid up until almost the very end; when I left for the last time, his words were of concern for me, not him.
Outwards, not inwards. This week, amidst all the chants of USA! USA! USA! it's pretty easy to forget what the men and women of our armed forces have given up over the last decade. Our success has come at a high price, paid by them.And their families
Some haven't forgotten.
Don't forget what their families sacrificed for us.
God Bless our troops, indeed. And their families, who sacrifice something that most of us can't even begin to understand. For us.
I would say something to comfort those families, but find that I do not have the words. I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.
While I have never had the pleasure of meeting you or your husband, I felt the need to write you and express a very deep feeling that I have in my heart.My troubles are a grain of sand on the beach.
I, as a person, am not brave. I do not tackle things head on, as I hate confrontation. I will travel 100 miles out of my way just to avoid a conflict. I am an American woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other than what I hear on the news.
I have never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they didn't know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for.
I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband.
I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so.
I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand.
I have never had to hold my head high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loved one gets to come home.
I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with.
And I have never had to feel the panic rising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting.
For the reasons listed above, I can not tell you that I understand how you feel. I can not tell you that you must be strong. I can not say that you shouldn't be angry, because you "knew what you were getting into when you married a military man". I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.
What I can say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husbands willingness to stand up for those who see him as "just another soldier" - - I will never have to walk in your shoes.
I do understand that as a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control, but I never understood how you could do it, until now. I have figured out that you are not like other women. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America.
You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American.
I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment.
Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me.
Until this moment, I had no real reason to.... Until I heard of you.
Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us...but you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what it is today.
You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay.
Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, everyday.
I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom.
I will never be able to repay this debt to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are...what you are doing...what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...Your husband will NEVER be "just another soldier" to me.... And you, dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten.
You are all in my prayer's everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely.
May God Bless You!
LORD, make me a better man, by opening my eyes to those who sacrifice for us. Help me focus outwards, not inwards. And bless our troops in harm's way. Be a shield for them, bringing them home to die in their old age, surrounded by their families.
Just like Dad. Amen.
* JayG, you in particular need to watch that Trace Adkins video he posts. Not that you need anyone to tell you that. Just pick up a copy of that CD, because you'll want to listen to it the night before BabyGirl G's wedding ...