He Was Seventeen

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Gentle Reader,

So tonight, my heart is with the Mamas.  Not knowing where their sons were, not knowing when or if they would return, many of them (my Papa Jack included) too young to officially be “over there”, but yet knowing Something Big was going to happen, and soon.  Wondering about the weather (wet, foggy, ugly), wondering if he was warm enough and well-fed.

Tonight, my heart is with the Boys.  (And here I also recognize the many, MANY women who also made it happen, but my blog and all…)  They knew what was supposed to happen tomorrow.  They knew what their leaders had told them, they knew the stuff that only bravado and youthful testosterone can know.  Because to know the carnage they would actually face would have been unbearable.

Tonight, my heart is with the Leaders.  They knew what tomorrow would bring.  Even if it had gone according to plan.  To hold those lives in their hands, to know they were committing some to certain death.  To not faint in the face of awful.

Tonight, my heart is with the Granddaughters.  The Granddaughters who got to know the peace and utter safety that only a Papa Jack can provide.  Who got to go fishing.  Who learned to drive in the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in Ocilla, GA.  Who know how to go blackberry picking and make preserves from memory.  And with those Granddaughters who did not.  Especially with those who did not.

Tonight, my heart is with the people playing on this beach today:


The sum of all of the above sacrifice.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hug your Beloveds tight, y’all.  And read this.  In fact, screw the rest of these words.  Just read that.  Still relevant today.



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