Thursday, May 14, 2009


There is a moment that occurs some mornings, when all remains sleepy and slow, where I pause and think that I am unthinkably blessed.

It happened this morning, sometime just after 6:00 on the east coast, after I'd slipped into a dress and applied make-up. My skin looked pale - as it tends to do - but healthy. My hair swung, dark and shiny, as I looked down to decide on shoes. Stepping into the red pumps, I smiled for a mere second before wincing in pain. Such pretty shoes that bring such pain. Ever practical, I kicked them off and slipped on my black flats with a quick sigh of regret.

There are other moments where my heart hurts. When I pause again, this time to think that the world ruled by a God I believe is loving and just can't possibly hold such horror and cruelty. Rarely do the two moments happen in the same day, but I had the second, just before 8:00 on the east coast, staring into bright blue eyes at a security checkpoint.

The military buys a reasonable amount of medical equipment so it's not a particularly rare occurance for me to trudge through security or wait for an escort when I arrive on base. This morning, waiting patiently in my rental car, I proceeded past one uniformed man, thinking him quite handsome with his square jaw and sharp features, and stopped at the second person.

"Good morning," I offered, already reaching for my ID to hand him. I glanced up, plastic gripped between two fingers and smiled before feeling my heart ache and stomach clench. Even as he offered his own, "good morning, ma'am," I wanted to ask how old he was. When the braces on his seemingly-straight teeth would come off. I nodded and pulled into the spot he instructed, biting back my inquiries over his happiness and comfort.

Once suitably approved, I drove past the soldier at the parking garage, nodding politely and wondering what had happened to his eye, protected as it was by a plastic patch. I thanked the group who motioned for me to exit the elevator first, noticing when I stopped to check on the conference room location that they moved slowly to allow for one of their group to limp with them.
The bustle abruptly stopped, and I with it, when the national anthem was played. I obediently turned to face the flag, displayed nearly as often as clocks announced military times, and unobtrusively glanced around the men in my line of sight. They looked proud, I decided, feeling intensely proud of them. Then I walked, quickly and quietly courtesy of my black flats, to my destination. Sitting through my meeting, I was rather disconcerted, finding myself peeking out the glass door and into the corrider, looking for injured.
We are, as a company, trying to help. I normally feel pretty good about our efforts toward the armed services. I'm not sure what to say about today - there were moments of appreciation and pride and those of horror. And that's proving much harder to reconcile than flats versus heels.

1 comment:

Psych Post Doc said...

That does sound tough. I hope you can take solace in the fact that you're company is indeed trying to help.

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