Saturday, January 02, 2010


I’m starting to forget.

Forget the closeness of his hugs. Forget what it’s like to wake up with him warming one side of the bed, body heat generating a greenhouse effect under the covers. I’m starting to forget what it feels like to hold his hand, sit next to him on the couch, join him for dinner after sunset.


I’m starting to forget. And it is terrifying.

Terrifying like I’d imagine it would be losing someone you love—the someone you love. Because after 6 months, after 9 months, after 12 months, it gets too exhausting to live your life waiting for phone calls or letters or emails. It is too emotionally draining trying to rearrange your schedule, your meetings, your patients, so you’ll be available if he calls.

But he can call.

And when I’m starting to forget, I think of them.


{my Grandpa. WWII. Germany. 1945.}


{letter from war. Grandpa to Grandma. WWII.}

I think of those women. The ones who waited by the mailbox as seasons passed, who didn’t have clear phone lines & frequent emails; whose ink-laden letters were carried by wheel, by water, by foot into the fields, the forests, & even into the firing. The women who raised entire generations of children without daddies to hug, without fathers to join dinner after sunset, without husbands to warm the bed.

I think of them. The ones who missed dearly, hoped daily, & loved deeply.

{photo from WWII. Germany. 1945. "Johnson, squad leader"--from Grandpa's Infantry Company.}

{my Grandpa. WWII. location unknown (likely Germany) during his deployment}
The ones who didn’t enjoy luxurious honeymoons—many of whom barely had weddings.
The ones who welcomed their soldiers back with open arms & hopeful hearts after thighs had grown thicker, babies had grown bigger, & hair had grown grayer. The ones who left their knitting posts & picked up rivet guns, who left their desk jobs & found employment with scrap iron, & who traded their laced kitchen aprons for coveralls & workgloves.

{babies without dadies. c-1945. from family album.}
Suddenly, when I remember them, that terror of forgetting doesn’t seem so bad…12 months doesn’t seem so long…and “I talked to him yesterday” takes on a whole new meaning.

{ox. taken in Dresser, Germany. WWII. 1945}
{my Great Uncle Bud. WWII.}

Because his voice sounded close enough to warm the bed next to me.
Because I gripped the phone as I would grip his hand.
{jon celebrating Christmas morning with us...he watched me open the present he sent!}
Because our prayers before dinner connected our meals.

Because sitting on the couch is a reminder that his spot next to me is waiting.

And because the fear of forgetting evokes the thrill of fond memories.
I can’t help but delight in the walk.
thank you. for the prayers, thoughts, & unending support.


K ~ said...

This brings tears to my cheeks. It's all too true and all too real. God Bless you Jlyn and Jon!

Mary & Jake said...

Oh my are so strong and so graceful in all that you do. That was so sad yet so beautiful how you can put your emotions into words. Love you...Mary

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