Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

Time to go back home… even though you can never go home.

Posted by fozzynok on 06/15/2014

I have not been around much to write anything nor has much come up that I felt didn’t make me look or sound ungrateful or even more depressed and out of touch than I have been seen to be. A couple of months ago, I decided that I was done pretending. Done living in a place which had only one redeeming quality… and that it was cheap to live there. That comes at a larger cost that I had ever imagined. I saw the writing on the wall at my job. The do nothings and know nothings were closing in… And I beat them to the punch, found a local job in California and resigned from the place that probably kept me alive for the last few years.

The move from the small town to the once small town I lived in in my younger years but which now is rather large has been started. I am here, working and staying with one of my old true friends… another of the few forces that has kept me willing and able to stay alive… He has pulled me out of that hole I was in and allowed me a break from the crushing forces that were probably going to kill me.  

I made the jump, packed some clothes, loaded the bike into the truck and struck out to try and go forward into some light and away from the dark life that was just something to be waited out. I have been here for a couple of months and there is most assuredly good and bad… just being here and seeing the sights, smelling the smells and hearing the voices of friends and family has made me realize that this was long overdue.

There have been moments of regret… but that is normal for me at this stage. Waiting for the trap door to open, waiting for the trap to spring while standing directly in the kill zone. I am among the living, the undamaged, the unaware… while some of that is what I have experienced forever… this is different. I am still feeling damaged, and the damage is totally invisible to those who live the normal lives of the blessed undamaged. Dates, times, sights and feeling the loss is amplified lately.

Armed Forces day, Mother’s day, Memorial Day, all of these have their own significance to me.  Being here has made this feeling of being an invisible freak more glaring. I walked around the Airbase here, this was full of memories that triggered a lot of emotions and stirred up the dark shapes all over again. The difference? The bunker was always there to run to… the place that I just left was at least safe and like some kid covering his head to escape the monster in the closet… the bunker served a purpose.

I walked around the flight line that day, feeling and seeing things that no one else could see. I was born there, visited there as a child, landed at the Travis AFB terminal when we returned from Guam… they are all there still. Travis was where we as a young family would look forward to every year on the 4th of July…  Micheal loved the place as much as I did… and it was joy filled to see his excitement and awe of the military planes and history there…

So I hope to have the family out of “there” and here to help me live life that I want to live soon. But their absence is just something that was impossible to prepare for. I miss them all very much. 

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