Today I had the pleasure of watching three elders getting to know each other only for them to find that their lives had crossed again and again over the years. It’s a small world, yes?
From childhood to senior years, the couple had lived within touching distance with our landlady sharing common experiences through their lives.
Thus I derived a lot of pleasure listening to these civilian seniors and my wife as they talked about things I knew nothing about.
Growing up within a family, baby thoughts, school times, lifelong friends, their life, working, their loves, the peaceful passing of family and friends.
Families were known by name and by touch, locations, homes, snippets of life’s happiest moments talked about, and I watched a tear wiped away in haste as deep memories were invoked. WHAM, that hit me big time.
In youth I was told that:-
“Dying young saves you the disillusionment and pain of facing your senior years alone”.
I was content with that notion and once, like many, lived each day as my last.
I wasn’t naive or stupid, just accepting of the possible consequence of my trade.
That hammered home by writing letters home that were never sent.
Somewhere along that path, and way later, I met my wife and all that changed.
Only now I find I am a senior with a life few would choose to recall in polite company.
With nothing to say and nothing to add to the conversation, even if I had tried, they wouldn’t have understood a life of a forces brat’s birth to the warrior’s soul death on exiting to civilian life. So I sat there, out-of-place, the grey pain in me shivering.
It is a ‘warriors’ lot to only share moments with those who can understand.
To be guarded about detail outside of them who know.
To trust someone who will never know, respecting of their values and self by ‘filtering’ out the nasty bits.
Thus I’m sat together tonight alone, if you can understand that.
I’m also thinking a bad night is in the offing.
Lamp lit and swinging but too tired to fight and deciding should I drink, drug, or man up to the forthcoming sweat. Three fine choices eh?