If only I had run my fingers through your hair once more.
If only I had planted my lips on yours one last time.
If only I could have told you how much you meant to me.
But I did none of these things.
I had screamed at you scornfully that day.
I had told you how horrible you were.
I had struck you across the face, even as you begged to kiss me goodbye on bent knees.
I had slammed the door in your face, even as you tried to tell me how much you loved me.
And for what was this, my love?
Why had I treated you so?
You had never done anything to deserve this.
You were doing what you were told.
You had to leave to do your good work. To protect me. To protect all of us.
I was only thinking of myself.
I wanted to keep you all for myself.
I wanted to keep you from glory.
I only saw my loneliness with your absence.
You left with my scorn.
You left with your cheek still stinging.
You left with your ears still ringing from the door slamming.
You took that bullet without me telling you that you were everything to me that day you left.
You collapsed to the ground without me squeezing your hand in love that day you left.
You breathed your last breath with a bleeding heart.
All because of my selfishness.
You came back to me in a casket rather than in through the door with your usual broad grin.
We had a funeral for you rather than a welcome home party.
They gave me a folded American flag rather than your warm, soft hand.
I had to bury you rather than embracing you.
I had to say goodbye rather than saying I love you.
If only I had loved you that day.
If only, my love.
#regret #love #military #sorrow #sacrifice
My Greatest Lesson
I specifically saved this last paragraph for my final moments before I go. I’m glad I’m able to write this last paragraph, because it means I didn’t die in some freak accident and get deprived of the opportunity to write this final piece. It would have been a shame to let this go unfinished. At least I can go feeling satisfied. So, here I am, clocking in for the last time before I get to call some new, blissfully wondrous place my home. I’m here, surrounded by my absolutely wonderful family that I would not have traded for the universe. I love them with all of my heart, and I could not be more ecstatic at this moment that I was able to spend my life with them. I could not have asked for any better husband, who was faithful, loved me with all of his heart, and gave me the world every single day. I raised two children who brighten my day every single time I see them, two children who I know are destined to change the world someday. My family is everything to me, and it breaks my heart to know I am leaving them now. Sure, maybe I never ended up becoming the big, successful, money-making career woman that I aspired to be oh so long ago, and I ended up having a family instead. This is no matter to me. The love I shared with my husband and kids is worth far more than any other life I could have pursued. I would choose them any day over anything else. That is the largest lesson I have learned from my time here, that love always comes first, that love is what makes us the happiest. And if we can all take a little time to remember how powerful and astounding love is, then I think the world can be a better place overall.