Although not near as tragic as Ruth’s circumstance, I’d hope to profile a relationship that very much reflects the title of this thread. Although I’ve searched just about the entire Lounge, I could not find a more appropriate forum than this one. Elaina, please pardon me if I trespass.
There are some amazing women profiled here with very diverse personalities, histories and backgrounds. You can only stand in awe at their common strength, loss, and views of life at such a difficult time in history. The Greatest Generation persevered and survived much more than we could ever know or imagine today.
My family can identify as parents and grandparents grew up in rural Indiana and Tennessee and survived the Great Depression and World War II. Ironically, my grandparents in Germany also endured very identical circumstances at the same time. They all had those traits and qualities that this forum respects and identifies with that era of challenge and sacrifice.
On this anniversary of 9/11, I hope you’ll indulge me for a second to demonstrate that many still sacrifice greatly, even if it is a little bit different now. In some ways the challenges of conflict are less, in some ways they are much greater. It’s true that technology, infrastructure and industry allow for more communication and distant support, but at times those things can be even more demanding than a loved ones absence, and they can make loss more terrifying. The spouses and families of those that serve in an all volunteer force, without the design of a nation at total war, deserve some recognition.
Since that day, my wife has endured my absence for over four and a half of the last ten years so far. She has managed our home, handled family and life challenges, and has celebrated success. She has dealt with financial difficulties but yet advanced in her profession. We have lost friends, suffered bloodshed and dealt with unpredictable schedules, the inability to plan anything substantial, and unrepairable alternations in life. Still, she always remains strong enough to sustain an entire family, and she does it with grace, style, and more love than I’ve ever witnessed in my life. My respect for her grows daily and will never diminish, my love for her is never ending. My gratitude to her will last a lifetime. Although I know there are many like her, she is the one I admire and appreciate most. Unfortunately I’m not eloquent enough to do justice to her story.
There are many amazing people in history, in our own lives, and in the world. I believe that service and sacrifice are most often are basic human qualities, but those that shine in selflessness are the ones we should be most proud of. Many people here have those qualities, and many more in the world have them whether they know it or not. Someday we will undoubtedly need them again. The Ruth’s will unfortunately exist, but so will the Cindy’s.