Sunday, May 26, 2013

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

This weekend is a holiday weekend.  Most people care about the 3-day weekend, and BBQ picnics.  In our family, we remember.  My husband, Mike, usually sits by himself and reflects on the past.  Mike is haunted by the past.  He has survivors guilt.  Constantly wondering why he didn't die also.  
I have no answers for that.  I don't even know why, except that he is here, and one of his soldiers isn't. 

Memorial Day is defined as a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  But for those who lived it, that's every day.  They don't forget.  
(Here's my two cents worth coming in now)  I think that the reason Mike's PTSD keeps getting worse is because of the survivors guilt.  I don't think he deserves to have a family when his soldier didn't get that chance.  

There are certain days of the year when I know to leave Mike alone.  I have given up so much to be with him.  Because of his PTSD, he avoids crowds, he doesn't go anywhere, and he really doesn't sleep anymore.  I told him yesterday he reminded me of my grandpa, who served during the Korean War.  I don't ever remember him sleeping with my grandma, he had his own room.  He would never leave the house, and he hardly ever slept.  He would be up at nights when we visited and just sit on the porch.  That's about how Mike is now.  I can't remember the last time he came to bed with me...though at times he comes in later.  

Would most wives be supportive of their husband staying up all night because they can't sleep?  Would most wives be supportive of their husband playing a video game all the time?
Would most wives be supportive of their husband just walking off by themselves?
I support all of these!  These are the quirks that I've learned to live.  I listen to him talk about a game I have no interest in...it's his escape.  His "therapy".  I've given up many things for him.  The PTSD has gotten so bad that we hardly go to sports games anymore...even if we could afford it.  
While I'm on that thought...while you're enjoying your weekend, and ALL THOSE SALES AT THE STORES...please REMEMBER that there are soldiers that are still appealing their disability...still going month to month eating beans and rice.  YES...that's what we've been eating for about a month now!  Still calling the VA to try to get things rolling...which with this system takes forever.  

What I wouldn't give to have just one week where we didn't have to worry about ANYTHING!! Where we can have an enjoyable week, doing anything...which for Mike right now would be camping and fishing.  Hey, I would take that because that means that it's a vacation.  A week without worrying, without him watching out the front window.  A week of relaxing.  A week of enjoying a lot of food, without worrying if we're going to have money at the end of the month.  A week to see a smile on his face.  

So, while you're having a great weekend, and shopping those sales.  Please, please....remember people like Pfc. Jesse D. Mizener, who was my husbands soldier who didn't make it back.  This young man, whom I've never met, has impacted my life so profoundly.  We do think of him and his family on a regular basis.