I am a survivor of many things in my life. At 65 my body is beginning to tell me, it can’t last forever.The spinal injuries wake me each day, sometimes at 3 am, sometimes at 5 am, sometimes at 6 am, each day. My lower back, hurts, my neck kills me.I have survived my childhood, and so much more. My military life began in The US Army when I ran from home, then went to the National Guard, then the Navy for 12 years. When I finished, I had accumulated 16 years and didn’t even realize it.
There is a reason for all we do in life, as to what exactly it may be, is not up to you or me. We fail in certain areas and excel in others. We run when we must or for fun also. We take orders and do deeds, we must do to be recognized and to be loved also. Each day is a fight to get where we need to go, do what we need to do and survive long enough to see the next day. I am old now, believe it, I helped many in my life in my teens, I helped many in my life in the service too, but when your body says, enough you stop and just feel the pains of all of it.
I have lived life in ways few have ever lived it. I have seen the world through the eyes of the U.S. Military. I have seen the Med. the North Atlantic, done the Unitas cruises around South America, Crossed the Panama and Suez Canals. I am a Shell Back at least twice over in my life. I have seen the world it’s people, talked to them and made them laugh and had a good time doing so.
I have survived, men who have beaten me, loved women who have ended up hating me and loved women who would love to have been with me and never were. I have had two marriages, two daughters, two of everything there is to have in my life. I never got everything right the first time around, but I’ll be damned, I did get it right when the time was right. I even survived lung cancer in 2013.
Now at 65, my lower spine waked me daily, neck bunches up and spasms and my arms and shoulders ache and awake me. I have built stone walls, five feet tall, rebuilt house inside and out, fixed old cars and junked em too. But, let me say this to all of you.
It matters not if you sing a song, it matters not if you just get along. It matters not, what religion you believe in, it matters not what school you attended, how high you climb in society or why. It matters only that you treated lal with respect, caring, and in the end, you did what was right for the greater good of all.
At some point you will look back like I am. When you do, you may find what I have found. People will always be people, they will always want something from you, in someway. I gave all my life to others, I gave as a child, helping to raise my siblings, I gave as a teen helping my friends escape from wrongs they did, stopping them from doing wrong, and preventing damages and more.
I loved many females, some now dead and gone sadly, and some I never touched but protected because I cared. I guarded my country, I married and divorced. and then married again. If my second marriage hadn’t happened, I don’t know where, I would be.
Money isn’t everything folks, it helps, yes, to have some to lean on or to spend. Yet, in the end it comes and it goes, it ebbs and it flows. You spend it to eat, to have clothes, to buy homes and items, but, you pay in the end to survive and have to work to get it. Money is an item we save and spend, it is a device to survive by, once you figure it out in life, you are better off, indeed.
So if you reach my stage, of surviving a childhood filled with pain of beatings and shame, a life of running from it all, then finding a way to fit in. Do me a favor and remember me, my friend. My body has more aches and pains then I can stand, but my mind keeps plugging on, and it refuses to stop turning, thinking and trying to solve, life’s mysteries.
Once your body starts to go, and you find yourself alone, your mind starts to look for ways to express itself. I write for that reason folks, I am alone now, my wife, is in a Nursing Home, struggling to come home. I find myself sometimes speaking to myself, and talking to my cats. I eat easy to make food and drink, only coffee and water. The house is big and empty without her now, noise echoes in it as i move about. A cat meows and it reverberates in the air and off the walls. The water softener comes on and I jump, a refrigerator turns on and I go, what is that.
I climbed into, too many boilers, on destroyers and on oilers. I climbed into steam drums and water drums and fireboxes too. I sailed the seas and survived to come home, even after I fell and had to be brought back to walk again. I am human, I am a man.
I tell the world of my woes and problems and my wife’s condition and pray out loud she can recover and survive. I get told, don’t tell the world anything, stop telling her story to all. I am told my doing so is not right. I am at times lost, I had to step back, figure out, how to even pay the bills to keep going, and for the first time I found I had no choice. there is no other voice, here.
I get depressed, I regress, I think of the past, and then rewind my life, so fast. Did I make the right choices, did I do, the right things? Will people remember me for the good I tried to do, or will I be forgotten once I die. I do not know, but I have learned, while on the planet earth and being a part of humanity, struggling to survive and helping others along the way, is the only way, I could have gone. We are not put here to just care for ourselves, we are put here to learn to survive and get along with all. I have done so, I didn’t care who was what color, who was what race, I didn’t care, who had what money or position, I cared about getting done what was needed and caring about the ones I loved, and friended and who friended me.
I have had old enemies come out of the past to haunt me too, bad dreams, nightmares of beatings and more. I pushed them aside and hid them inside. I moved on and cast aside the bad in my past. I loved, I cared, and I lost. Survived it all, and without searching, found it again. Life goes on whether I am here or not. My children live and breathe, my grandchildren do too. I researched my past, found where my families came from on both sides. I understand the nature of what kind of man I am. Do you understand yourself, can you say the same at 65 years old? Am I saying this to be bold, or to just shout and ask for pity or mercy or help, no! I write this in pain, and pray, my wife heals and can come home. But, there is no greater lesson in life, then having to live alone!