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We each have a story to tell

By Remy Benoit

We each have a story.
We are each capable of telling our individual and collective stories.
Whether we do that is up to each of us.

You are a "newbie" just arriving at your first station. You don't know the ropes, the routines, yet.
You meet other soldiers who "know" what it is all about and you wonder if you will pass muster when it comes to be your time to know.

Henry A. Giroux, Truthout, Against the Militarized Academy.

You are a new mother, a new father, without any experience at the vast challenge called child rearing. The task seems absolutely formidable, and at the same time the realization comes to you that you have taken on loving, nurturing, guiding someone—for the rest of your life.

It is the very first Thanksgiving dinner that you will make solo. The kitchen seems overwhelming—turkey ( how do you keep it from the consistency of shoe leather ); the stuffing, the coleslaw—just how much sugar goes into sweet potatoes and apples, let alone pecan, pumpkin, apple pie or something as formidable as getting the meringue right for a lemon meringue pie?

It is your first holiday break from college—you come home and everyone and everything seem just a bit different, until, until you realize that you are no longer the same person who left home. How does this new you relate to the old them; or, wow, have they changed while you were gone?

Was this the time you planned to retire and it all fell apart with the economic crunch? How do you feel about that? How can we rectify the situation and see that this does not happen to others who are ready to turn off the alarm clock and get up when they have actually had enough sleep?MSNBC Melissa Dahl Retirement dreams give way to despair, anger Many grappling with golden year disappointments as nest eggs dwindle.

Did you suffer through a catastrophe of nature and watch all you had built float or burn away? How do you wander through the ruins of your life; what is left to take away with you and start all over again? With what bureaucracy did you have your greatest struggles and how did you emerge from it all?

Did your doctor say words you never expected to hear? Words that tell you there is not much time left? How are you processing and living with that? From whom do you seek guidance?

Did you give your heart away totally and unconditionally only to have it handed back to you in broken and betrayed pieces? How do you handle that, go through that? Did you receive or send a Dear John letter? How have others survived a broken heart and go on to find love without hurt, without disappointment, without conditions or unrealistic expectations?

We find our answers in our own experiences, and in the stories that are handed down through the generations.

You are coming home from active duty and all seems so different. You are checking the roads for IED's; ducking a loud noises; sleeping in a comfortable bed with a partner who seems to you to have changed a bit during your tour of duty. You have no idea, and perhaps no desire, to how to, or, indeed, if you even want to, try to explain to those who have not been there what you know that they don't.
What do you do with these feelings, with these confused emotions?


What are your feelings when you read an article such as this one From Christopher Sherman, AP at Truthout Cheney's Indictment in South Texas Moves Forward.

You share you story by writing your own, by reading the stories of those who have written them down and you find that through the ages, although the places, the people, the very customs change, we are still at heart and soul level, human, only human—with a need for food, shelter, love, acceptance, compassion, empathy.

Ask yourself today, if I had to write one paragraph passing on to others what I have learned, what questions I have, what would that paragraph say?

Sit down, write it down.
Begin to write, to understand, your story. Share it, here, with those you love, with anyone who will read it with compassion. Be careful who you trust with your heart and soul. We still are on our way to learning empathy and compassion.

If your story is well along, if you need help, you have come to the right place. Gentle Editing: Your Words—Your Way. Others have trusted me with that and you may read their recommendations at the site. Remember, Veterans are charged only half price as my way of saying Thank you for your service. While you are here, please make use of the free writing seminar available at Welcome Home Soldier. Many have contributed their writing to help you find your way through your story.
If you can make a donation to help with the costs of this site, please just click on Donations and do the Pay Pal thing.
Thanks so much.
Blessings to you and your story.
Miz' Remy

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This item is part of WelcomeHomeSoldier.com: historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.


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