From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Then There Are the "Other" Mothers...

Not everyone enjoys the blessings of growing up under a loving and God centered mother.  There are those among us who as children survive only by the grace of God.  I am writing a book, and the following chapter represents what God can do with a broken childhood to fashion a Warrior Soldier.

Chapter 5

“Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.”  Maya Angelou

 He stood in the middle of the street, completely immobile, unable for some time to move.  There he struggled to stop the words from entering his consciousness which he had just heard from his mother’s lips.  Whatever small trespass he had committed was a lost thought, already he had no memory of it.   Her words were so cruel, that for the rest of his life, though he would never recall what he had done that day, or any detail concerning the incident, 
her words would remain seared on his heart and mind.

 Those words she had shouted would sometimes threaten at the edges of his mind at the most unexpected times, usually when he was relaxing, and especially when he observed young families of Soldiers.  He had been innocently playing some childhood game, being the child he was, and so seldom allowed to be.  She had come running from the house in a rage over something he had done or not done, and at the end of her chastisement, she assaulted his child’s heart and dealt a wound that would never quite heal.

The weapon with which he combated such wounds of childhood, and now in adulthood utilized whenever threatened, was work.  Always when he worked hard at anything, the demons of his childhood, and more importantly in adulthood, all negative life experiences, were held at bay.  Work had always done that for him; been a rock and a high place of safety from the disregard of his feelings and the needs that went unmet by his warring parents.   He was only five years old when he stood in the street paralyzed that day, but those words would become by God’s grace, an empowering strength as the years went by.  God is like that in His love, and we are purified in the fires of adversity, "like gold." 

On that day however, the purity of his child’s heart accepted somewhere in his subconscious, the words as being legitimate.   Years later he would have accepted the raging accusations of his commanding general as an accurate assessment of him as well.  Except that this woman who he had only recently pledged himself to in marriage, sat beside him and said, “wait, that isn’t the way it is, I have been there every battle assembly, down the hall in the FRG office, and those things never happened."  Never had he been so grateful for her thoughts, and as she talked with him he too rejected the accusing words.   His mathematician’s mind, and his bent toward the scientific method of thought and reasoning took over, along with his own personal honesty Then as he reconsidered all the rhetoric of the dressing down he had received, logic verified that Dianne's assessment was true.  In this realization, years of devotion to the Army, and the honesty of his pledge to the cadet code of honor at West Point, a painful realization began.  The betrayal which was just beginning, would unfold, and would threaten all he was, all he had achieved, and his very life.  He had  always taken to heart criticism from a superior, and just as in childhood embraced its' validity.  The events that would be a long and painful journey for both of them. The road would teach him that no matter how noble the philosophy, the principles, or how many speeches were made by leadership proclaiming the sacred duty to uphold these ideals, the Army had very dark side.  Corruption was eating away like a cancer at the organization he had so long given his life to.  As the black clouds of the approaching storm formed, the years of emotional abuse from his childhood would rise to the forefront of his thinking and bring a tenacity in him to face the whirlwinds.  Those same burdens he had lived under would begin also to heal.  Though the experience would threaten all he was and had become, in time it would sharpen his leadership capabilities like close hand to hand combat teaches a Soldier the skills of war .