Lifestyle Magazine

Welcome Home.

By Bewilderedbug @bewilderedbug

Welcome home.I did not know how to react to what I had just seen.  My family around me hugged me, trying to comfort me, but all I felt was numb.  Their gentle caresses, soft kisses and tears were invisible, masked by the trauma of what I had just seen.

I was previously MIA and assumed dead in Afghanistan, but in reality, I had been captured and held hostage by a small group of marauders.  They were not involved with the war, per se, but were trying to profit from it by holding a small group of us for ransom.  Everyone wanted American soldiers, they told us in broken English.

The army had assumed we were dead and had even informed my family of my death and had sponsored a small memorial service for me.  I was in the hands of the marauders for two years.  They did not treat us badly, in fact, they treated us like friends, but refused to let us go until they received money from the US government.  In the end we were rescued by American troops who had stumbled upon our campsite.

I used to think about my family and what they would be thinking as I lay on my bed of old rags and straw under the open night sky, high in the mountains in Afghanistan.  I thought about my mother and how her heart must be breaking, to lose her oldest son without knowing where he was.  I thought about my sister who was now divorced, but with three children to raise.  She was also looking after the one person I thought about the most, my son, James.

James was my pride and joy, he would be about sixteen now and I could not wait to see him.  He must have grown into quite a man by now.  He must have had the hardest time adjusting to my absence.  He had not known his mother, because she had died in childbirth, but he had her beautiful green eyes and something about the way he set his jaw when he was being stubborn proved to me that he was her son.  I loved him more than I loved myself and had tried to teach him everything I could.

We had some special times, my son and I.  As soon as he was able, we used to drive up North to the cottage and I would teach him to fish, hunt and to drive boats.  I remember once, we were at the lake and he dropped the remote control of his boat into the water while the boat was far out in the middle  of the lake.  Unreachable.

He had sat there and cried and cried, begging me to do something.  I couldn’t, it was too far out to swim and we were not supposed to operate vehicles in that area.  I had promised to buy him a new one, but he went to the edge of the water and started splashing, trying to create waves to get the boat to one side.  I had taken him under a nearby tree and sat there with him, trying to calm him.  His sobs got quieter and quieter, and when he was silent, except for the one or two morose sighs that came out once in a while, I showed him something.  I showed him the wind pushing the boat and creating little ripples.  He was fascinated by the ripples on the top of the water and had asked me why his waves didn’t make the boat move.   I explained to him that he was too far and that the only thing that would move the boat at this time was the wind.  The wind was the only force that could create waves all the way out there.

He had asked me then, “So, if there’s no wind, there will be no wave?”  and I had agreed.

If there is no wind, there will be no wave

As he grew older he became more and more obsessed with model boats and wind power and the “invisible” forces as he called them.   He was going to be brilliant, I could see it already.  Maybe an engineer of some sort.

I was dying to see my son, anxiously tapping my foot as the car drew near to the house.

When I asked for him, my sister, who I had left to care for him, looked away and then led me to the sofa.

“It’s best if you see for yourself I think”, she said to me and took a DVD out of her purse.

The rest of the family sat around me and the DVD started.  It was my memorial service.

Everyone was dressed in black, and a large sized photograph of me in formal army wear was at the front of the room, surrounded by the national flag, candles, funeral wreaths and flower arrangements.  My entire family was there, all in mourning wear and my son.  My son, James.

He was so tall and looked so handsome in his suit.

We fast forwarded to his eulogy.  He went up holding a big bag.  His eyes were red and puffy as if he had been crying and even his nose was red. Then he started to speak.

“My Aunt told me that I didn’t have to speak today.” he said, ” but I thought that my Dad would really have liked that I did.  And I wanted to say something to make you realize how important he was to me.”

He paused and looked at the bag to his left.   He was so brave to speak like this.  He had never liked crowds, much less speaking in front of one.

He took a deep breath.  “My Dad was the best Dad anyone could have.  He did lots of things with me that other kids never get to do with their Dads.  I wanted to show you some of these things…”

He bent down and drew out a tall model ship.  The first one we had built together.  He then went on to talk about how we had built it together.  He described how we had carved out the pieces from plain pieces of wood and glued it together.  He even mentioned how he had glued his finger to the boat and how we had to try to use every type of alcohol we had to get it unglued.   He mentioned how he was not worried because his Dad was there and he knew that no matter how long he would be glued to the boat, his Dad would figure out a way to get him unglued.

One by one, he took out little treasures, some of which I didn’t know he still had, and explained why they were special to him – all projects he had worked upon with or for me.  All things we had done together.  I remembered each one of them and smiled each time he smiled, remembering the silly things he had said or the small “disasters” that had occurred or his awed face upon completion.

Then he took out the remnants of the boat that had reached to the middle of the lake.  We had picked it up later that weekend when it had reached one of the shores, but it had already fallen apart beyond repair.  I did not even know he had it still.

“This one,” he said, “this one was really special.  It got lost and I couldn’t get her back.  I was so upset that it had gotten lost because we had worked so hard on it.”

He bent down and put it next to the other items lining the altar.  Then he took his bag and put it on the pulpit where he was standing and continued to talk.

“He had to calm me down, I was so upset,” he said as he looked up.  His green eyes stared deep into the camera.  “I never forgot what he said that day.  He showed me that no matter what I did, I could not make waves to reach my boat.  Then the wind came and made waves for us.  My Dad said “If there is no wind, there will be no wave”…”

He looked down momentarily, tearing up.

“Well, Dad…..” he said as he turned to my picture, “You were the wind……and I was the wave….”

He took a step away from the pulpit, openly weeping.  He looked up at the photograph and his jaw locked into the stubborn, determined expression that his mother had given him.

“There’s no more wind  Dad…..and if there’s no wind….there will be no wave….”

He raised his hand to his head, and after a loud bang,  collapsed to the floor in a pool of blood.

There was no wind, and now, there would be no wave.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, The Drama Mama challenged me with “If there is no wind, there will be no wave” and I challenged Lance with “Inspirational disappointment”.

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