Thursday, April 23, 2009

Having a pity party

Some days it sucks to be me and today is one of those days. Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of the death of the son of one of my Gold Star Mom friends. None of us want that Gold Star pin that the military presents us at the funeral of our sons, but we sure as hell earned it the hard way. I wear my pin every day.

I left a message for my friend because that is what we do on these “death day” anniversaries. We remember because the general public does not. She called me back and told me she wasn’t really answering the phone on her anniversary; she was sure I understood and of course, I did. I don’t answer the phone much on May 30 either and all my Gold Star friends understand.

When my friend called me this morning she told me it was a hard day yesterday, and that today- the anniversary day of the day she got the news seemed even harder. She said that 5 years was weird. 5 long years. Thanks for the warning since I'm about 5 weeks away from my 5 year! I thought after the one year anniversary that things would get better, that all of the firsts without Ken would be behind me. Indeed they were, but then it became the 2nd birthday without, the 3rd Mother’s Day without, 4th Easter without, Christmas, death day anniversary and every day without Ken- forever.

This life as a Gold Star mom gets different but it doesn’t get better at all. Learning to live without Ken will always be the hardest thing that I do every day. Knowing I will never hear his voice, feel his hug and see that twinkle in his eye, that is the hard part. Truth be told, I find it very hard to think about living a long life without Ken. I look at Gold Star moms from the Viet Nam era and do not know how they have lived so long with a big hole in their hearts. I just don't know.

In the bloodiest day in more than a year, 75 Iraqi’s were killed today and at least 120 wounded in 2 explosions in Baghdad today. Everybody (in Iraq) knows somebody killed by the war Conversely, for the most part the people of the United States do not know anyone who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, because they don’t have to. They can live their life with and never think about the war and we Gold Star families live our lives forever changed because of that one knock on the door.

The cherry on top of this day is hearing all the details about the enhanced interrogations or torture approved and directed by senior members of the Bush administration. And no, these techniques weren't to prevent the scary mushroom cloud of another attack that was dangled in front of the country as the drums beat louder and louder on the way to the invasion of Iraq. According to a former senior U.S. intelligence officer, the Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime.

Not only did the Bush administration lie about the reasons to go to war, they tortured in our name to get the evidence to prove ties between al Qaida and Iraq; ties that were never there. While I generally don't like to play "what if", that is a key component in a pity party. What if Bush was never president? How all of our lives would be different.

Special hugs to Mary for her anniversary this week and for Carrie & Ken for their 5 year anniversary next week.


liberal army wife said...

I cannot imagine how it feels. I was fortunate, my son came home. and I don't really know what to say to you or any of the other GoldStar moms - other than if I can help you, or listen, or be there, or visit Arlington for you, I am honoured to do so. You are a member of my family, my military family and that does mean something to me.


libhom said...

It's so frustrating that you and so many other people have been put through so much for a war based on fraud. You deserve much better than this.

GSMSO- Gold Star Mom Speaks Out said...

LAW- I look forward to meeting you at Thunder Alley on Memorial Day Sunday after Rolling Thunder rolls.

That we are members of the same military family means something to me, too.


GSMSO- Gold Star Mom Speaks Out said...


That's the hard part, we do deserve better and so does this country.

Thanks for saying so.