caged bird

Apr. 19th, 2016 10:55 am
mandysee_mandydo: (Default)

locked away in my rib cage
perched and gayly singing
"do you hear me?"
"do you hear me?"
waiting for you to
open the cage
caress it softly
and ask me why i ever
clipped its wings when
i could have let it fly free

mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
Yesterday I had to work providing video services for a public funeral for a local soldier who died in Afghanistan. When I say I had to work, I don't want to seem as though I'm trivializing or was only doing it because I had to do it. I was very glad to be able to help and honored to be a part of doing something positive for his family and the community. I went into it with the mindset that I had an important job to do and left completely heartbroken. It was an extremely touching service, and I think perhaps many times more now that I am a parent. I found myself grieving and heartbroken for a young soldier I didn't know, but thoughts of my son's future led me to a dreadful thought: if I'm this distraught about a young soldier I don't know, how could I handle if in 19 years I am at the funeral for a young soldier I conceived, fed, raised, taught, played with, and loved with all my heart?

Friends, family, and community members spoke of this local soldier's friendliness, his infectious happiness, his strength, and his intelligence. All I could think about was how we see these aspects in Ian even as young as he is. Then there was the slideshow with photos of the young soldier through the years, including one that I swear looked so much like Ian, which really started my fears rolling full steam. I grieved for this young man who was so loved by so many that his public service filled multiple rooms in the high school, and for his family who lost someone so dear. But I also worried that as much as we see so much potential and want to provide so much encouragement for Ian, I dread the idea of him becoming a soldier and going to war but couldn't consider trying to stop him from pursuing that future if he chose it. I would be utterly devastated if I had to suffer the loss that the soldier's family suffers now. I don't know if I would have the strength to go on after that.

I got home after the service and all of that grief poured out. All I could do was weep, hold Ian tight, let him know how much I love him, and beg him not to grow up to be a soldier. At night while trying to sleep I went through this again as I tried to get the day out of my mind and relax. I know I can't stop him from pursuing his dreams, even if it means he joins the military and goes off to war, but I don't want to be the mother in the front row at a funeral looking at my son's casket and hearing people speak about the joys of my son, a person in the past tense. I don't want to outlive my child, especially not that way.


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Jamie Amana Capach

September 2016

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