I read a blog post recently that struck a little closer to home than usual. It was written by the parent of a special needs child, the post was about coming to terms with the child that is as opposed to the child that might have been. What some folks don’t realize is that disabled people go through something similar, we have to come to terms with the fact that our disabilities sometimes mean that certain aspirations are just plain out of reach.
I love piano and cello music even though I will never play either instrument. I have seen both the piano and cello I will never have. I have looked in the mirror and seen myself in Army dress greens with jump wings I earned. The image eventually fades and I’m left with just me.
So what to do about it? I have tried burying it, there isn’t a hole deep enough. So I listen to cello and piano pieces on good days(days when I am mostly at peace with myself and my body mechanics) and smile and am thankful that someone has the dexterity that I will never have and with it the ability to usher beautiful music into the world. Days when the green eyed monster bites deep have been known to find me in angry tears over the same music. When the internal maelstrom dies down though I remind myself that even though I lack the means to reproduce it I have two ears that work exceptionally well with which to listen to the music, which is more than some have.
Coming to terms with inability to serve in the military is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, it is ongoing process which will most likely only end because I die and not because I have completely made peace with it.
For people in non military families that may seem strange but someone from one or both sides of my family has served in every major conflict America has involved itself in, with the possible exception of the current situation and even that I’m not sure of because I’m not in regular contact with some of my far flung cousins. So since I am unable to serve I do the best I can at home. I am far from politically minded but I have always made it clear that I support the troops of all branches no matter which set of views the current administration agrees with.
Some days are better than others but in each day there is the opportunity to make it better than the one before and that’s the most important thing of all.