A little over a week has passed since I welcomed my son home. He has his own place now. Is driving his wheels. Has been visited by the woman he loves and plans to marry. I’m sure almost everything seems normal. And that’s great.
But one thing still haunts me. As I slowly walked through those troops toward my son, there were some who had no one to personally welcome them home.
I’d see them out of the corner of my eye, standing next to their gear. Occasionally, several would be standing together starring quietly into the crowd. Sometimes a guy would be standing by himself. And as the crowd thinned. Some were still standing there wondering what to do. That’s what sticks with me now.
And I’m sorry that I didn’t take the time to personally welcome them home. I could have, and should have taken the time. My wife was with my son. My slow feet could have tarried a little more. Jon wouldn’t have even noticed the delay. Maybe he would even have understood.
Slow Feet – Slow Mind
Why were my feet moving so slow? Was it the conflict going on between my head and my heart? Was I dragging an emotion anchor? Or maybe packing some national guilt? Selfishness? Embarrassment? It’s hard to say. But I did experienced a kind of mental gridlock. Have you been there?
My mind said rush off to your son. My heart, my spirit wanted to tarry and hug them all. Would they have understood? Would they have cared? Would it matter?
When I was young, my mind ruled. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that’s not always the best course to take. And I’ve learned that the hard way. Ouch!
On that parade field, I could have made a difference. But…..
Ouch! Another lesson learned. And I’ve screw it up again. I’ve got the equivalent of a PhD this way.
Something missed. Not All Is Lost.
I missed my chance. I lost out! It’s not the pictures taken of my wife and son. It’s not that our whole family was joyously together again. But it’s that haunting image that sticks with me now.
I know it was only a moment in time. That those young men and women weren’t depending upon me.
I know those young men and women celebrated their return, in their own way as everyone must. And I’m sure they are in much the same state as my son. They’re back to living their lives. And that’s great!
But I’d do it different today.