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22 Comments

  1. Thuy, September 10, 2013:

    My name is Thuy. I was born February 14, 1967 at Bien Hoa.
    I am a daughter of Vietnam Vet. I am looking for my biological father name Dick…
    He was a Officer’s Mess Hall Cook 118th AVN Co Mess Hall at Bien Hoa 1965.

    Please can anyone help find my father. Thank you so much.

    God Bless!

  2. Thuy, September 10, 2013:

    DAUGHTER LEFT BEHIND
    (Because Of The Vietnam War)

  3. Cindy, September 12, 2013:

    My father was drafted against his wishes as an Army Vietnam Vet. Prior to his draft he was a peaceful, somewhat withdrawn, young musician. Because of Nixon he returned earlier from Nam than was expected. Unfortunately he returned hate filled, loathing the Government, wanting nothing to do with me or my mother. During my childhood I remember my father refused to work, I remember his drug use, the stench of pot, his hippy inspired Avant garde love of music. I remember he was a monster and nearly killed me once and shortly afterwards my mother left him for roughly a year before he returned to our lives once more. I will never forget the daily abuse at nine years old being mocked, made fun of to the point that I broke down in tears, leading to being beaten in the head and tossed against wall. Being told I was worthless, spoiled, fat, and not worthy of breathing. He later confessed he saw how spoiled American children were opposed to the children he came in contact with in Nam. He also claimed he didn’t want me to become spoiled, but has never apologized, only stated that when he came back home he didn’t want to be a part of anything. A few years ago, at a time when he was becoming delusional, he agreed to be treated for PTSD and is now heavily medicated to the point that he is currently unable to play an instrument. He recently asked me if I could forgive him, and I lied to him because I did not have the heart to tell him otherwise. I don’t know if I can ever forgive him if he cannot at least admit that what he did to me was wrong and that he feels badly for the sixteen years of my life that he brutally and physiologically abused me. All threw my school years he criticized teaching of any kind, he hated the idea of me attending College because College students were cookie cutter members of society and did not have to serve the draft. When I became ill with anorexia I dropped out of School and had no motivation from either parent. I nearly died but when I left home with my boyfriend, shortly afterwards I became pregnant, and dropped out of work to be a homemaker. I have become withdrawn from society to the point that I dislike anyone who reminds me of my father. I would like to know why my father can walk into a VA center and receive the assistance, as well as group therapy (if he wishes), but there are no group therapy PTSD related meetings for Children of Vietnam Vet’s especially the children who have parents who were traumatized by the “draft.” I cannot begin to express how difficult it is to want to be validated by someone who knows first hand what the pain feels like and I have NEVER been properly addressed by physiologist and I think I am being misdiagnosed as having bi-polar when I am actually suffering from symptoms of PTSD. I have read of many of the above comments and I wish I could connect with some of the commenters, because I understand their voice, a voice that a councilor could not begin to understand unless they too were a trauma survivor.

  4. Robert Barlow, September 20, 2013:

    I have just read the new book on J. D. Salinger which puts forth the idea that his reclusive behavior for sixty years was based on his WW 11 PTSD. Salinger went in at Utah Beac on D-Day then fought on through France,Belguim, and The Battle of the Bulge. He then witnessed the concentration camps.
    My father, Frank, had the same war, landed on the same beach, fought the same battles and went to the same camps. He also had PTSD. He was hospitalised three times
    In 15 years after the war. He committed suicide in 1970. He left behind a widow and three sons.
    He was a wonderful father, but I can never forget those times when had that thousand mile stare even around the family. I hope the more recent treatments are helping veterans now.

  5. Keeli, 2nd Generation Vietnam Causalty!, December 4, 2013:

    The Vietnam War terrorized and destroyed my world. I was 7 when my father was sent to Vietnam and I was 10 when part of him returned. My father was a Hospital Corpsman attached to the Marines. He was on the USS Kittyhawk and in Danang from 1967 to 1979. He spent two Christmases there. He was there during the Tet a Offensive when the Vietnamese broke the holiday (Tet) cease fire and attacked the Danang Naval Station Activity. Part of the hospital with patients wounded in there beds was bombed. The bunkers were destroyed. My father survived my crawling into a ditch.

    He came home physically, but mentality he was someone different. He became someone I looked up to and was terrorized of at the same time. My father and his other medic friends would drink, drink and drink some more. To say he was full of rage and violence is a monumental understatement. My sister, my Autistic brother and I were emotionally and physically abused. I am 53 now and still wear the scares from that war.

    I have been diagnosed with PTSD, major recurrant depression, anxiety disorder with anxiety attacks. I become suicidal at times and have been hospitalized twice for psychiatric care.

    My father spent nearly 3 years up to his knees in blood with wounded all around him. He did triage, assisted doctors with surgery, treated patients, stitched up wounds, and was sometimes the Last Face seen by these dying young soldiers (kids) 18 or 19 years old. He removed them from the helos and took them into the quansen hut for triage. He said he can still smell the metallic smell of blood. It never leaves you. All of the men he served with are dead now. Most died from cancer associated with agent orange. The corpsman stripped the uniforms off the wounded when they came into triage and had extensive exposure to agent orange from handeling all those contaminated uniforms.

    All I knew was that as a child of 10, my father, my protector, became my worst fear, my nightmare. I began sleep walking by age 11, had nightmares, couldn’t sleep, had anxiety attacks, and was deemed “quiet”. I tried to become invisible so not to trigger any outbreaks of rage. My father’s rages were horrifying. I was publicly humiliated, called all sorts of derogatory names, been drug around by my hair. Beaten with any object that was within his grasp when he was in a rage. My father would break furniture, and throw things at me. My sister and brother were right in there with me. My sister’s response was to argue and fight with him. She also became my abuser. When my parents weren’t home, the abuse from her started. She was physically abusive. I still have hearing loss she caused.

    I had a breakdown at age 45 and have been struggling with the “demon” ever since. I went through years of therapy, hospitalization etc. I was angry at my father for this latent affect on my life and at my mother for not protecting us from the monster.

    I finally began to research actually what my father went through in order to understand him. We have a very close loving relationship, because we can talk about our PTSD. He knows I don’t blame him, no one knew what PTSD was in the 70s after the war. He knows I understand and he will confide in me when he is having problems. I can see it on his face when he is going thru something again. He has to keep busy to keep ahead of the demons. Sometimes they catch him, just like me, and drag us down the rabbit hole.

    My mother said a few years ago, that if my father had been diagnosed and put on medication when he returned from Nam, that none of the rest of us would be on medication. I, my mother, sister, brother, niece, nephew, and my son all take medication. THANK YOU Vietnam!!!

    Keeli

  6. Thuy, December 4, 2013:

    VIETNAM WAR
    Daughter Left Behind

    In time civil war was stared in Saigon, Long Binh and Bien Hoa 1965 my father Dick was in AF Bien Hoa assigment as a Officer 118th AVN Co Mess Hall. He meet my mother at Laundry attendant, with a year later I was born in 2/14/1967. When I was a toddler my father told to my mother that he will come back for us, but he didn’t. Couple years later she was very sad and very ill and she passed away? I was adopted since. How can I find my father? I do not have his last name or his birthday. Very sad and hopeless for me. My pray for each day, but no luck yet. Please can anyone help me find my father. Thank you so very much. God Bless!
    A Poem To MY Father
    I Miss You, Dad!
    Where are you now?
    What make you left me?
    Why we fold a part?

    When you left me
    I was a child
    My mom was gone!
    I was adopted.
    Others take care of me
    I am carrying your blood and walking with your mix eyes.

    Where are you, Dad?
    I was daddy little girl
    Now I am still a part of your world
    All these years
    I am wondering if you’d look for me?
    Hope see you soon, dad!

    Love, your daughterDiemmy214bienhoavn.

    In joy and praise
    By: Thuyvietnam38@yahoo.com
    12/4/2013

  7. Thuy, December 4, 2013:

    BROKEN HEART
    I am reaching this poem
    To tell a story that never end.
    It’s the story
    Of a truly remarkable
    An amerasion girl from Vietnam

    Who lost her hopes and loves,
    The birthday candles light burning low
    Was hurt her with the delight
    That leaves her like a needle.

    To instruct herself over and over
    Her tears pickle down
    To look and to listen,
    As she reach this poem

    The tears of joy
    Steaming down to her face
    A sense of peace
    She touch the piece of information
    Placing it in her heart.
    To tell a story
    Never end!

    By: Thuyvietnam38@yahoo.com
    12/4/2013

  8. Thuy, December 4, 2013:

    A Note To My Father Somewhere
    Dear father,
    The Vietnam War was over now. Your little girl is grown up now. So many years have passed. Where are you, father? It was long ago. I was too young to even remember your face, but I didn’t forget your tenderness and helped for us. My heart wants to know where you are. When you left us, each days that passed. We hope to hear from you, but nothing happened. In 1970 my mother passed away and I was adopted and moved to another place. Did you look for us, father?
    You and my mother brought me into this world, now I have lost both of you. Have you still forgotten about me, father? I always think about you and tried to look for you. Now I am in America of Minnesota and I still continue my search with hope and pray that Lord will let me see my father again, because I have not seen him for 43 years. Again it is in my heart that I speak these words to you and seek a wonderful reunion with you and the passed, but really see my father. Would bring a beautiful joy to my heart. I would like to see you once again. Let hope together this dream of mine comes true for the both of us, father.

    P.S I understand that of course my father has a family of his own. I want to let him know that I am not looking for help or anything. I just want to know him and see if I have any siblings. I Graduated from College and I am working.

    Loves, your long lost daughter Diemmy
    thuyvietnam38@yahoo.com
    12/4/2013

  9. Todd Christ, December 19, 2013:

    My father, Allen Leroy Christ fought with the 83rd Division in France and Belgium. He landed on Omaha Beach some time in June of 1944. He fought for seven months in various locations and small towns. He received the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, and various other medals mostly after he passed away. He fought in the battle of the Hurtguen Forest along the border between Belgium and Germany. He was wounded some time in January in the Hertguen Forest. He carried a bible in his top pocket during the “push”. When he finally got to the hospital the nurses undressed him and told him that “he may want to keep the bible that he carried in his pocket.” When he opened the bible he found that the bible had stopped at piece of scrapple that surely would have pierced his heart. I still have that bible with that piece of steel. I know for sure that without the bible I wouldn’t have existed. So in essence the bible was as precious to me as it was to him. I am looking for anyone that may have fought with him or may remember him. He was from a small farm town of Leesport, north of Reading, PA. He was one of five brothers. One brother had died very young. I would love to talk to anyone that may have been there with him. I am very proud of what my father and his generation did for the world. They truly are the greatest generation. Their sacrifice is unmatched in our country. My father’s life was one of constant sacrifice. Before the war that farm boy was a very talented musician so much so that he applied and was accepted at the Julliard School of music. He saved every penny he made so he could go to Julliard and maybe could have been a great composer or musician. Instead, he gave his money to his younger brother so he could get a college education while he went off to Europe to fight. As I said before, his life was a life of constant sacrifice. I never realized what he had done until I was in my early twenties. At that time I realized what they had all done and the life that they all gave me. I understood that I should be grateful ever day of my life. From my early twenties to about five years ago I would call him religiously on the morning of June 6 thanking him for what he had done. I knew that as each year passed there would come a time when I could no longer thank him for what he had done. Today he is gone and I no longer have the ability to hear his voice when I thank him. The funny thing is that he never considered himself a hero. He used to say to me that the real heroes are buried on the hill above Omaha. Such a humble man he was. In conclusion, I would love to hear from someone that remembers him or may have fought along side of him. Todd Christ at todchrist@yahoo.com. Posted 08 Dec 13

  10. Frances Scrimshaw, December 27, 2013:

    I am 44 years old and my father was 15/16 years old when he joined the Army to fight for his country in WW2. He was in the Yorkshire and Lancaster Regiment and fought in Burma and other places.

    I believe I am one of the youngest WW2 veteran’s children in England. I would be interested in hearing if there are any other children of WW2 veterans of a similar age to me. Unfortunately my father passed in 1992 aged just 67. He did not speak much about the War but and he was obviously traumatised.

    Any replies would be appreciated.

  11. Thomas McGauley, December 29, 2013:

    I was born into trauma and I’ve been holding my breath ever since. My father was in the Air Force in WW2, but he never said a single word about the war, and almost never said a word about anything. His brother, my uncle, an infantry soldier in the South Pacific, told me, at my dad’s funeral, that my father was a genuine hero of WW2. He also told me how they shared an apartment in Manhattan after the war, and my father would wake up screaming, soaked in sweat, from nightmares. I remember a bunch of medals in his closet when I was a kid, but they disappeared just before my father died. Though he never knew it, my father had severe OCD, PTSD, depression. He didn’t drink, or do drugs, or rage–he held it all inside, and worked obsessivley around the house, in the yard. He could never feel his emotions, and could not express an emotion even if Disney wrote the script. And my mother was a little girl in London when Hitler was raining his blitz down. And when I needed some mothering in 1972, in Winter Park, Fl, my mother was still hiding in the London underground. “The finest hour/I’ve ever known/was finding a pound/in the underground.” So, like my father before me, I developed OCD, and PTSD, and lived my life trapped in the smoky ruins of my mind and emotions. I was the youngest of a big clan of kids, Irish Catholic to the tilt. It’s been a wasted and painful life, but I did the best I could with what I was handed.

  12. Julianne Sanden, February 2, 2014:

    Reading these posts I see myself, and my family. Growing up it was hard for me to differentiate between the WWII hero and the drunken, mean, abusive father. I grew up in terror. I grew up being taught that I was worthless, good for nothing, and a waste of space. I could never figure out why my parents even had me. It was obvious that they didn’t want me.
    My parents had 9 children after WWII. Apparently not much thought was given to family planning. My father was a misogynist. Lovely. God blessed him with one son and eight girls. He had his favorites. I was not one of them. We were not Catholic. I believe that my father deliberately impregnated my mother as a way of controlling her. He controlled her in every single aspect of her life.
    So weird. On one hand you have a war hero (101st Airborne Screaming Eagles) and on the other hand you have a verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive tyrant who the outside world does not see.
    My intention is not to bash my Dad. In some sick way I know he loved me and I loved him. But man did he screw me up. And here I am at the age of 58 and I still don’t know how to fix me.

  13. Julianne Sanden, February 2, 2014:

    Oh yeah…and I have a degree in Psych/Soc which I deliberately took to try and help myself. It helped, but it has not *fixed* my broken pieces.

  14. Bill Parrish, March 3, 2014:

    I am 65 tomorrow and have just learned from Sildran and this site answers to questions that I have had all my life. “Why is this happening to me?” Now I know, I know there are many many like me, and I can try to forgive my father for what he did to my family.

  15. Frank, March 17, 2014:

    I am a Viet Nam Veteran. I feel myself so fotunate as I read the stories of some of my brothers and their children. I was among the lucky few. I was in the Navy aboard the USS Constellation in the South China Sea on Yankee station in 1964. As I read the stories of the children I almost feel guilty because my duty in the South China sea in 1964 although it was far from a cake walk physichally pushing planes on the hanger deck. I did not have to experience some of the horror stories I have heard and read here. Although I never came back to find the same America I left in 1964, I as I said I almost feel guilty. I worked with a Viet Nam veteran infantry soldier some years ago. We talked about the war and he said to me” Oh you were in the social service.”
    I know he meant absoluty nothing by it, it still hit home. I thank God that I was led to join the Navy in 1962 instead of being drafted and experiencing what my brothers had to endure. I know in my town there are a lot of my brothers living on the street even 50 years later. My heart goes out to them all, and especially some of the childrens stories I have read here. Not to mention todays veterans coming back from defending our great country. God Bless You one and all.

  16. Charlie, April 14, 2014:

    It is upsetting to read some of these posts. Why do children always seem to find fault in their parents for decisions and mistakes that they have made in their lives? Julieann states that she does not intend to bash her dad. Well, what does she think she’s doing? Praising him? Some people are so quick to judge other peoples parenting, instead of looking at themselves. Funny how the ones that are so quick to attack their parents are far from being good ones themselves. It has nothing to do with being a veteran or a child of one. How was it so obvious that she wasn’t wanted. Did her veteran dad go to work every day? Provide for her? It sounds like she should have been an only child as she was didn’t want to share. Maybe her dad wasn’t the huggy, kissy type. Does that mean she wasn’t wanted? My dad was a also a WWII veteran and hero. I never looked at him as that. I looked at him as my dad. My hero. God only knows what he saw and did in the war. I am sure I can’t even begin to comprehend. I also come from a large family. I have never once blamed the fact that father was in a war for anything that I ever did. Good or bad. I would never accuse my father of purposely impregnating my mother to control her. My mother was actually much stronger than my dad and raised my sisters to be just as strong, if not stronger than her. Yes, there was a lot of alcohol. It was an escape, I’m sure. According to my mom, there was plenty of that before the war. My father may have thought he controlled my mother, but he didn’t. She did whatever she had to do to keep her family together. There were not the types of birth control then as there is now. Many parents had large families because of that. I don’t believe that my parents were ever sorry that they had a large family. My mother used to say how each baby she had was the cutest one. My father saw his faults, worked his but off to put food on the table and hoped the hell his kids would forgive him for all the mistakes he made. I had a sibling who made my parents life hell. She was the most controlling, manipulative, verbally, physically and emotionally abusive person I have ever known. Yet, she would never take responsibility for anything she ever did. She blamed my dad for everything. Didn’t want anything to do with him unless she needed cash, which he readily gave. She tries to blame everything on everyone else and even her veteran dad. She is so quick to judge . her dad’s parenting, yet abandoned her children and left them with their fathers. She’s not a veteran, so I wonder what her kids blame it on. I don’t have a psych degree (don’t really think she has one either). All I know is that it doesn’t take a degree to realize that we all have been through junk in our lives. And if we didn’t serve in one, we all have felt like we have been in a war at times. That does not give us the right to bash the people that gave us life. I am the first to admit that I have not been the best parent and it has nothing to do with me being a veteran or being the child of one. And if you are a parent-what do you want your kids to say about you? Especially when you’re gone. There’s that saying -what goes around, comes around. Good Luck!

  17. Mary Coombs, November 8, 2014:

    A really important site,thanks for setting it up. My late father was in India in the 1930s then over into Burma for first year of that campaign. He talked little of his experiences, Except to repeat the same incident again and again when laid low with malaria. Ref to a hill with a temple(?), how he and others heard voices calling them by name. He thought he heard his mothers voice. He carried an abiding hatred of the Japanese. Forbade me to speak to any. He was prone to dramatic sudden mood swings. From the lovable clown who could make us laugh until our bellies ached, he could switch to being threatening, sullen and critical of everyone and everything. Living with Dad was like walking on eggshells. He had been reported M.I.A for a week or more at one time, and his family were informed. I know no details of this. I am also puzzled as to why he subsequently spent the rest of WW2 confined to home duties. Now in middle age, I often wonder to what extent emotional and behavorial problems I experienced as a child, resulting in, in primary years, attending special schools, were a reflection of Dad’s combat related experiences.

  18. Jamie, November 20, 2014:

    @francis scrimshaw

    You are not the only young one.I am 42 and in Canada. My father was in the British Airborne in World War II . He joined at 17. He had me later in life.I know it is an unusual experience because none of your friends relate to the experience of having a vetern parent.

  19. Julia, January 30, 2015:

    My Father was a POW in Stalag 17b. He was captured in March 1943 in the North African campaign. He was shot down over the Mediterranean while bombing ships supplying the Germans. He was in the Stalag until May or June of 1945, and walked westward until he met the Allies. He came home with severe PTSD. I grew up with that horrifying set of symptoms, never understanding why he wasn’t a normal father. As a family, we never got help. I diagnosed him myself many years later, but the VA insisted he had dementia. I asked them why, if that were a condition of the elderly, I had observed it for over 40 years? Finally, after incredible persistence, I got the VA to acknowledge his PTSD. I cannot tell you the look on my father’s face when I explained what had finally been acknowledged. It was one of incredible pain and relief, melded into one.

  20. Rosalie Luffel, May 17, 2015:

    Julia,
    For years I have wished to have someone to talk to about this great pain I carry with me and so I am grateful to you! Wow, where to begin – I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters and though we were close growing up we don’t keep in touch possibly because seeing each other brings the trauma back – I miss them every day and wish dearly to be reconciled.

    My father now deceased was warrant officer Henry Haskell and served for 30 years in the army. He fought in three wars – WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I believe by the time he was stationed in Vietnam he was support and not combat assigned – just before his tour was completed he was trapped in a foxhole with an enemy soldier and had to fight for his life – a terrifying experience one of many that he carried with him, he had continuous nightmares and drank to cope. Unfortunately when he drank he became very emotional and his emotion of choice was always anger. He hurt his family so much when he would fly into rages beating mom my oldest brother even our family dog no one was safe from the abuse. We desperately needed help but couldn’t get it. When I was little I used to cry for him when he was gone but as I got older I was grateful for it! We were not able to tell anyone or seek help – for fear of appearing weak or worse retribution from him. We were all alone to deal with the constant violence that was my home life. As a kid and now as an adult I struggle with maintaining relationships and have all but given up on them. With God’s help I’ll make it and feel encouraged to not give up although it’s a daily struggle to maintain. Thanks again to you for this forum – so nice to have a place to share and with people who understand!

  21. Dawn, June 9, 2015:

    My dad left school at 16 and signed up for the army to get away from home and his father. He served four tours over in those jungles including during the Tet Offensive. Shortly after coming home he met my mom and they got married a while later. He joined the National Guard after they were married and received a honorable discharge when I was about five. He only got out because of me always being sick and in and out of the hospital. I don’t think I knew how much of that war he still lives everyday when I was young (not consciously)but I always worried about him. As I got older late teens early 20s I started to see some signs of how stressed out he got in crowded places. After nine eleven it’s kicked in way worse. He has threatened to hurt himself or end it all. Five years ago when my maternal grandfather passed away (my dad was extremely close to him). I was terrified by how he was acting and knew he needed help. I made him go to the VA and I fought for almost two hours before they agreed to put him in inpatient. Thankfully it helped some. I have watched him suffer my whole life with the horrific dream, flashbacks, depression and anxiety. It hurts to see him suffer I wish that they would come out with a cure. I sit up most nights worrying or crying or just hoping. He has never really went into the fits of anger or anything he keeps it bottled up. The only thing he has ever let leak was during a flashback when he pushed me behind him and told me to walk down the middle of the road so I don’t trip over the stacked up bodies. Ugh I hate that the war has never ended

  22. Eric Daure, February 23, 2016:

    My father is not a war veteran, but my grandfather and great grandfather were. I wrote the following poem about the lasting generational impact of war on both vets and civilians, and share it in hopes it may be of help to someone.

    Finding Hard Bottom:

    My mommy is crying
    Sooooo hard
    So hard
    she can’t breathe
    So hard
    she is shaking

    “Mommy, why are you crying?”
    “I’m just feeling blue.”
    “Don’t be sad, mommy…
    It’s OK, don’t cry!”
    Trying to smile
    Makes mommy look
    even sadder.
    She says
    “I can’t help it.”

    It happens again
    and again.

    I love my mommy
    the most of all.
    She loves me
    the most too.
    We laugh together
    Sooooo hard.
    So hard
    we are shaking
    So hard,
    we can’t breathe
    Why is mommy
    so sad?
    It makes me sad too.

    Then I found out
    A long time ago,
    some people did horrible things
    to gramma terri’s family
    and lots of other people
    In a war.
    Gramma terri is my mommy’s mommy.
    I love gramma terri.
    But she is sad too.
    Even when she’s happy,
    I can tell
    She is sad.
    Why did they do those things?

    My daddy doesn’t cry
    But he is sad too.
    Very sad.
    Because his daddy was
    soooo mean to him.
    So mean
    he crossed an ocean
    to get away.
    His daddy is my grampa freddy.
    I love my daddy.
    I love my grampa.
    Grampa, why were you mean to daddy?
    Why grampa?!

    I found out
    A long time ago,
    my grampa’s daddy
    was even meaner to him.
    My grampa is old,
    but his body still hurts
    where his daddy kicked him
    When he was just as little
    as me.
    Why?

    I found out
    grampa’s daddy was in
    a war.
    People sprayed poison gas on him
    and he breathed it.
    Other bad things
    happened to him too.

    They made him mean.

    I found out
    When grampa freddy grew up,
    He was in a war too
    Against the same people
    Who made my mommy cry.
    Bad things happened
    to him too.
    After, he tried his best
    to be better
    for my daddy
    Than his daddy was
    for him.
    He was better.
    He didn’t hit my daddy.
    He was just mean with words.
    But my uncle armand said
    That hurt them
    just as bad.
    I love my uncle armand
    But he and my daddy
    Can’t talk.
    And now
    We can’t either.
    Why did all this happen?
    Because of wars.
    Why are there wars?
    Why?
    WHY?!??!

    I found out
    There are lots of wars
    And other bad things,
    Maybe just as bad,
    Happening to lots of people
    all the time
    and maybe
    always
    have been

    Then I felt
    The world is a sad, sad place.
    But no one seems
    to know
    or care
    They just want
    to be happy
    and have
    fun.

    Me too.

    But how can I
    With all these sad things?
    I can’t.
    Someone must feel
    for all the people
    like my gramma’s family.
    Forever.
    Who will do it?

    I will.

    So… I became sad too
    Sooooo sad
    I laughed
    all the time.
    Because
    it’s either laugh
    or cry.

    You can laugh
    all the way down
    to the bottom
    of your guts
    And clean yourself out
    With those happy sobs.

    Sad sobs work too.
    Sometimes better.

    But either way
    There’s no hard bottom
    There’s always more
    Welling up again later,
    ‘Cause you believe
    there should be.

    See,
    it’s ok
    to be happy.
    But not purely,
    or you’re guilty.
    Of what?
    Abandonment.

    So, I stayed sad like that
    a loooong time
    And it hurt me
    A lot
    Some people must have wondered
    What was wrong with me
    I never told them.
    I don’t know why.
    Well,
    now you know.

    Then I found out
    None of that
    Helped anything
    or anyone.
    Not at all.
    Not even
    one
    drop.
    The dead are gone,
    not grateful.
    But if they could
    they’d say
    “We love you grandchild
    You are our triumph
    of survival and hope.
    Remember us, but
    Don’t waste your life
    in sadness
    for us, or anything
    But live,
    In all things
    with joy,
    gratitude,
    and love.
    And remember:
    Your job
    is to help.
    Do what needs doing,
    Even though it’s hard.

    That
    is how we
    are best honored

    That
    is how we
    are best served

    That
    is how the world
    is best healed.”

    When my mommy reads this
    She will cry again.
    Maybe a lot.
    Me too.
    She will feel sad
    She will feel happy
    She will feel guilty
    She will feel proud.
    As my mother,
    She will feel
    A glowing success
    And a terrible failure.
    The pain of failure
    Will try
    to be stronger.
    She will struggle
    to release
    the source
    of her sadness,
    as it says to here
    even though
    she knows
    that is right.
    She will struggle
    to forgive herself
    for being born
    for surviving
    for being happy
    when her mommy’s family
    suffered and died.
    That’s all OK.
    Really.
    Cry it all out, mommy,
    One last time.
    But then
    Let there be a hard bottom.
    You don’t need to make
    Any more blue.
    I love you as much now
    as always and ever
    and you’ve suffered
    much more than enough.
    You’re just like me
    A grown up child
    whose mommy was sad
    and couldn’t help it.
    Feel happy now mommy.
    Sooooo happy;
    Your grandchildren are spared
    This futile burden
    we’ve born.

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