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.
Last edited by Steven180; 09-13-2011 at 05:46 AM.
Very good thread. No stories from me, thank you to those you do have stories, and did submit them.
"It is better to be down here, wishing you were up there, than up here wishing you were down there."
I have a friend whose mother fell in love with an Army Sergeant just prior to the beginning of WW2. They were married, and only had a few months together before he was sent to the Philippines. After the attack on Pearl, the attack began at Bataan, where the husband was located. He was killed while manning an anti-aircraft battery. His wife kept writing to him throughout the war, having heard about the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. The War Department could tell her nothing but that he was missing in action. She joined the WAACs out of a strong desire to do something, working her way up to the rank of captain. She only found out at the end of the war that her husband had been killed during one of its first engagements. She had tracked down some of the survivors of the Bataan Death March, who had just been returned to the U.S., to inquire about her husband. She later married the brother of her dead husband, but always kept a photo on the mantel of her first husband. She never quite got over the loss, but managed to get on with her life and make a home with a new husband and family. My friend says she thinks that writing to her husband and joining the WAACs really helped her mother to cope all those years without knowing what had happened. I keep telling her she really ought to write a book about them - it is such an interesting story.
"One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, and three are a congress" - John Adams
My Grandmother's biological father was a Scottish amry officer stationed in Burma during the first world war. After the war ended, he had to return back to Gt Britain. He left a number of elephants as a way of providing for her upbringing in his absence. After he left, my Great grandmother remarried and the new husband drank his way through the elephants shall we say. My Grandmother's biological father stayed in contact and had her adopted by a friend who remained in Burma. She was provided for and loved by her new family and she went onto become a teacher at a high school in Rangoon. She went onto have her own children (my father included) but we never found out what happened to the Scottish army officer...
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/0...death-071412w/SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Every day of the past 68 years, Hazel George has thought of her brother, an Army paratrooper in World War II, and wondered how he spent the last few hours of his life before he and his comrades were ambushed in Normandy, France, on D-Day.
The 89-year-old resident of Eden Terrace, a Spartanburg assisted-living facility, got a few of her questions answered recently in a two-page handwritten letter from a man whose family owns the French apple orchard where the paratroopers, members of Company A, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, landed on June 6, 1944.
Are you part of the 3% who have served, or have you sent your spouse to war for a year? Have you "sucked it up," as you tell them to? Or are you part of the 97% who, while the military went to war, went instead to the mall? If the latter, perhaps you lack perspective. Maybe you should just thank those spouses and return to your shopping.
My mother's Aunt Ethel died in 1989 in her 100th year. While cleaning out her house I found in the back of her bedroom closet, an old studio portrait of a young soldier in WW1 uniform. I asked my mother if she knew who it was. She said "that was her fiance"
I said "that doesn't look like Uncle Doug"
"Her first fiance, he died in the war"
"Killed in battle?"
"No, he died on the ship on the way over".
That was all she knew. This was the first time I heard of it. So, her fiance went to war. He died. She got over it and got married to a different man. But she kept his picture all those years. Did she ever take it out and look at it? Did she ever think about the way things might have been?
Who knows the secrets of the human heart?