Sunday, August 08, 2021

A Laid back Kinda Holiday

 



I met a man, well, a boy really…. Okay – I will guess that judgment comes based on how old you are – but he had already been to war… yet, my own son wasn’t much younger than him. So for this essay – I will call him a man.

I have a feeling that war makes you that way. It makes you a man… maybe even earlier than you would care to have happen.

Anyways this man had a rather hard shell. He seemed to be quite defensive, and maybe, just a little callous. And with most men that had been to war, and with most men sitting around the campfire, the stories are tough. They are dangerous, and they carry a lot of truth to them. As we sat around this fire, and all the men took turns sharing their stories – I couldn’t help but feel that his had some extra significance to it. Maybe a little but more of the angle that he mattered. That he was the key character in the story he was telling. Maybe, forgive the word, some self importance to it.

As the evening drew to a close I found myself drawn to this particular man, and so I headed his way to get to know him better. I struck up a casual conversation, essentially leading to – and what plans do you have for this holiday? To which, he said…. None.

Gulp

None

This brave young warrior who had stepped up for the country I live in, who had answered the call, and left everything behind…. No plans. Alone. No one to hang out with.

To which I said – I have an extra room, how would you like to come with my family. I knew, of course, that such a brave man would probably get flustered and say no. So imagine my surprise when he said – I can be ready in 15 ma’am,

And that is how I had an extra man coming for the holiday! Because I already feed a family that eats like the starved… adding one more was not a problem when it came to food. The problem was – would he like our laid back style of life in the country for the holiday – when he was used to a bustling military base?

Turns out – he did. As we all hiked our property, rode horses, and did some target shooting, this young man’s story came out. He became more willing to talk, and as he became the center of our attentions he began to realize his life did have significance. We let him talk as he wanted, participate as he wanted, and yes – put him to work just like the rest of the gang. He also made a mean Sweet tea.

I was surprised with this young gentleman. Based on the first impression, I could not have realized what an enjoyable person he was, what a sweet spirit he had, and what a fun happy person was hiding under that veneer.

I guess that saying – “Don’t judge a book by its Cover” is for real.

17 comments:

abelian said...

Thank you for your Stories, Alycia! They make me smile through some tears. Dot

Donna said...

What a wonderful story! Of course you made me cry again! Did you give him a QOV? I bet he was just thrilled to not be alone on a holiday and he loved the laid back change of pace! Bless your heart Alycia!

Pat said...

you and your family are sweeties for asking him to join in! glad it all worked out!!

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Alycia, thanks for sharing that story. There is something special in everyone when we take the time to know them. Take care.

Judy in Michigan said...

So true!! Thank you for this story.

Elaine M said...

Thank you for sharing the story, and sharing your life with this man. Probably just what he needed.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I love these posts - thank you for writing and sharing these stories!!!!!

Kathleen said...

What a gift you and your family were to him! Amazing story.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Thank you for the story. Thank you for taking a chance on the young man. Thrilled he could share and heal somewhat. Tears.

WeedyMama said...

Adopted another one, eh?

Linda said...

Alycia your heart is so big - wonderful story! What was the holiday? I'm so grateful to this young man for his service and to you for letting him know how we all feel but fail to demonstrate as you did.

Delighted Hands said...

Just precious...
You have developed an eye for the one who needs help and a heart to actually help.
We all need to do this.
Thank you.

Snowcatcher said...

My gosh, thank you for one of the best stories I've read in a very long time. This touched my heart, my soul and my life. And I will remember this next time I meet someone who seems to just need a bit of attention.

Pat said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. You rock! ❤️

The Joyful Quilter said...

You are such a wonderful person, Alycia! It was so sweet of you to include this warrior in your family's holiday plans. From the sounds of it, he was truly touched by your generosity!

Cherie in St Louis said...

Your essays are so moving.

Kate said...

What a wonderful experience on both sides.