Are you making the most of this?

It’s been more than 2 months since I’ve written anything.

After losing one of my Marines to suicide in March, I guess I sort of lost my way a little bit.

To be honest, I just wanted to crawl inside a hole and isolate myself for a while.

I wanted to spin questions between my fingers over and over again and ask myself why this happened.

I wanted to stop thinking about it completely.

I wanted to ask him why?

080211-M-9943H-021.jpgI questioned everything about myself, and the way I was living my own life. I wanted all of the pain to stop. I was picking up my kids daily, but I wasn’t holding them. I was feeding them and providing for them but I wasn’t being their father. I slept each night next to my wife, but I wasn’t her husband. I felt like a shell of a man I used to be.

While his funeral was most definitely somber, it was good to see everyone. It was good to sit around and tell stories of him. It was good to tell stories of us, and how we used to be. Back when we could watch the entire night sky turn from blue to purple and eventually to black. So many different colors that only the desert sky can hold. How the stars seemed like they gathered from across the galaxy to light up the night sky, just for us. How the sand felt beneath our feet. How it was deafeningly silent when we didn’t focus on it. The wind felt like it came from the ground itself as it slipped through the scrub brushes at our feet.

Maybe we don’t think about our past when we’re still engaged in a deployment rotation because we are only concerned with the next one. When the music stops we struggle to remember it all. All the horrifying moments entangled in the good. Those smooth and youthful faces, full of grief and misery, yet capable of laughter that only someone who has walked in our boots could understand. Only someone who has looked at his or her own mortality and walked away would know anything about.

Perhaps we should spend a few minutes of our day and remember those months and years of our lives when we were capable of doing so much more.

080211-M-9943H-014.jpgPerhaps it would remind us of our true potential. When you look out your windshield you have three mirrors to give you clarity. A sense of direction. The rear view mirror helps to remind you of where you’ve been. It alerts you if something from the past might be coming up behind you too close.

Those side mirrors help orient yourself to what might be lurking beside you that will directly effect which direction you choose to go.

And when you make a big move, you have to actually turn your head to see what’s there with your own eyes.

I think that when we just barrel down that open road without looking back is when we really put ourselves in harms way. We forget that there are others who are on their own roads that might have encountered similar obstacles.

Are you calling them?

Are you answering their calls?

Regardless of where you’ve been or what you’ve done, you’re here now.

Are you making the most of it?

Comanche.jpgI told my daughter a few weeks ago something that I never heard from my own parents. We had a fight over a pair of jeans that I wanted her to get rid of. They offered up more of her than I wanted the world to see. She’s my little girl, and knowing that these jeans cast her in a particular light simply did not sit well with me.

We fought like only fathers and teenage daughters do, but in the end I told her that I could get her a new pair of pants.

I could get her a hundred new pairs of pants.

But I only get one of her.

Applying that to my brothers and sisters that have shared those desert nights with is easy. Applying that to myself is just as easy if I can stop thinking of my faults and see myself for what I’m truly worth.

I’ve got plenty of friends. I’ve got plenty of associates. But each one is different. Am I not?

The world only gets one of you.

Are you making the most of it?

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