Strange viewpoint from a 50something

Archive for February, 2013

It takes only a second…

He was on the bench, just inside the grocery store. Sitting there in slacks and dress shoes, wearing a freshly ironed plaid shirt, with his Retired Air Force cap straight on his balding head, he was just some old man waiting for his wife to finish shopping. The vacant look on his face makes most people think he isn’t all there… maybe alzheimers, maybe dementia, but he watched as each person passed him. I, too, watched as each person passed him, not giving him a thought.

I walked up to him, “Excuse me Sir”. I reached out my right hand and finished, “I’d like to Thank You for your service to our country”. He looked up at me, I saw as the tears began to well in his old eyes, he struggled to get up, once on his feet he squared himself, and reached out and took my hand in his. His grip was light but purposeful, gently squeezing my hand, his gratitude was like electricity running up my arm. “It was my honor to serve.” It was then that I saw the fire in his eyes… I took him back to another time, another place. Somewhere only he knows. I asked if I could sit with him a minute, I wanted to hear about his service. After a few minutes of hearing his personal story I realize all of his military history was lived before I was even born. But that matters not, to me. He served in one of the bloodiest wars of our time… and he returned. Many did not, and it’s for them that he represents.

A frail woman pushing a grocery cart, walks up to us. She eyed me with some suspicion, I stood up and reached my hand out to him one more time. “Again, let me thank you, Sir” I began, but this time he interrupted. “I’d like you to meet my wife, Mrs. Johnson, she is also retired.” I swing my open hand towards Mrs. Johnson, I say “Thank You, Mrs. Johnson, for your service to our country.”  She reached out, I cupped her tiny hand in both of mine and looked her right in the eye. “I am so proud of you both” I say. The frightened look gave way and this little woman grew a smile that warmed my soul.

I don’t know how I affected their day… but I am forever changed. And forever grateful for the freedoms that they were willing to give their lives for.

 

Thank You to all who currently serve, for those who have served, and for each soul whose fate was the ultimate sacrifice. You are not forgotten in my world.

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(#singingoutloud) “I am a-live….. with the sound of mu-sic”..

Since fighting my way out of that standstill funk, I have been on the run!! I am excited again about the prospect of each day… I am back to wanting to meet life with full force. And part of my getting back to life was music. That which swirls through my veins in complete unison with my blood. I’ve discovered that it is as important to the running of my body, as any other function that keeps me going.

When I was going back and forth to St Louis, during my Mom’s issues, I didn’t pay much attention to the music. It was on… but only as background noise. With each drive, the same tunes… the same feelings… the same nothing. With all that was happening to my Mom, I felt I would be betraying her in some way if I were feeling too good. After she died, I temporarily lost interest. The music played but I wasn’t involved.

Last week, I spent a couple hours erasing and loading my ipod. As I added song after song, I felt the excitement growing. (There is something very powerful about anticipation!) Music is magical to me. No matter what my mood may be… I have a song to match it. Let me add, too, that it is such a personal thing… matching mood to music. Some of the saddest songs I favor make me feel the best!

This particular list was comprised of some of the best sing-along-mood-lifting-gear-shifting-head-bopping-steeringwheel-banging music I own. Getting myself in my little blue car… hooking up the ipod, adjusting my tail in the drivers seat, easing the clutch pedal out….. and I am on my way! I turn the volume up and the shifting and singing begin!! I can not and do not sing for anyone but me. I don’t kareoke. I don’t break out in song at random in front of people. At home alone, or in my car…. I can belt ’em out! The physical act of singing.. gosh, I don’t know if I can explain it, but it feels so good!! The euphoria that comes over me! The pulse of the music is thumping from the trunk and it awakens my body- making my skin tingle! I sing along with the words ~ and I feel awake and alive!! 

Nothing compares to the sizzling of all my senses when I am flying down the road, singing songs that create these fabulous endorphins!! The sight of me must be something! I just hope the one thing people think to themselves, when they see me in this state, is that I must be having fun. Because being alive… it does feel so good!!