I don’t think I realized how intertwined our lives truly are until today.
This morning I was sitting at my desk when a man came in looking for some information. He was looking for information on his brother who had passed away in 2000. He was looking for specific information found in our local newspaper. We pulled out archives and he began to go through them. When the man found what he had been searching for, he jumped up and shouted “Thank You Jesus” and began crying his eyes out. He looked at me and said he was sorry. I told him there was no reason to be.
As he got himself together somewhat, he told me to sit down at the table with him. I did. He began to tell me his story about how he had left our small town 45 years ago and now it was time for him “to come back home.” . He told me about how he had left our town because he was the next number up to be drafted to go to Vietnam. He decided to enlist for a shorter stint of service. His brother was already in Vietnam in at that point. When it was time for him to be shipped out, he wasn’t required to go since his brother was already there. He was the sole surviving son, should something happen to his brother. While there his brother was exposed to agent orange. This eventually caused his death,
This man looked at me and said “My brother literally saved my life”. His eyes were filled with tears. He was talking about how those young men came home with their wounds and now this generation of military men were coming home with their lives destroyed. I told him that sometimes that look destroyed can be remade into some useful only in a different manner. He said that it was his mission to assure that today’s military are appropriately respected in terms of their medical care. I looked at him and said, you have been recalled to active duty to help this generation. He looked at me and smiled and said “I guess I have”.
When he was ready to leave, he hugged me and thank me again. It just so happened that this man’s sister had written me a recommendation for me for my current job. I never told him that. He didn’t need to know. He just needed someone to sit down at the table with him for just a little while and listen to his story.
A little while later, I was allowed to hold a 10 day old baby. She had been changed and was upset. I asked her mom if I could hold her. She allowed me to do so. I held this frail little creature who was totally dependent on someone else for every need. I watched her as her as she tried to focus her eyes as I spoke to her in hushed tones.She would suck on her little fist because it was getting close to time for her to be fed. As I held this tiny miracle, I was awestruck at how precious and fragile life is.
This day brought a man who needed some closure and a little baby who just needed to be comforting. I was allowed to be part of both. That really is a grand day!!