Say "I love you."

I just saw a tweet from @DannyBrown:  "The most personal blog article I'll ever write - would love to hear *your* story.

Danny shared a very personal story.  How he nearly committed suicide.  He invited his readers to share their story. 

How do we not?

We all have a "story", an event or two extremely pivotal in our lives.  You'll get an abbreviated version of one of mine.

Lt. Gilmore (on the right)
Two day before my graduation ceremony from Rutgers, I was at Ft. Drum, NY.  I was an ROTC cadet and an Infantry lieutenant with the New Jersey Army National Guard.  I wasn't required to go to this particular annual training event, but did so because our Battalion Commander said he needed lieutenants to help with the training (ok, if a colonel "asks" a lieutenant for anything, there is only one answer to be given; actually, didn't have to reach that point: the Battalion Commander was a great guy).

Suffice it to say that I was seriously injured during a so-called "war game" - "Defense of Europe": not so far-fetched during the cold war....My Platoon Sergeant died instantly at my side.  He was a good man and a good soldier.  Our APC driver had his teeth knocked in and a collapsed lung.  I was hurt pretty badly.  I was read my Last Rites.  My parents, who were busy preparing my graduation ceremony, received a call informing them that they needed to travel to see me as the doctors did not think I would live.

At the moment I regained conciousness, or the point where I could understand what had happened, I suddenly thought of so many things, but one thing in particular:  loved ones who I had never told that I loved them.  I, of course, had and still have, a profound sense of loss for my dear Platoon Sergeant.  I also have a searing understanding that we walk this world only once and that all can change in a blink, but emblazoned is my understanding that we should never be stingy with love.  The more love we give the more love we have -- and what we don't share eats away at us.

I learned other things, too.  Like when a driver insists on waving a person to cross a busy street, only to steam as he watches the seemingly healthy young man saunter at a slow and measured step crossing the street, he might consider if there isn't a reason other than inconsideration that causes the "punk" to saunter.  How when on a bus an "old timer", no doubt a military vet himself, grumbles about the "punk" haircut on the kid seated in front of him, he might want to pause and consider whether there could be a chance that the "barber" might've been an Army surgeon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center....

I suspect that I've shared enough, if not too much, and hope that I've shared enough:  tell those you love that you love them.  Don't honk your horn at the kid who moseys across the road after you've had the courtesy to stop and wave him on.  And never make fun of anyone's hair cut...

Dan, how'd I do?...

And, yes, reader, it's your turn, what's your story...

5 comments:

Danny Brown said...

Wow, Glen, what an amazing story. It's funny how we often see things, but don't really "see" behind them.

Like you say, who knows what people are away from that instant we share a moment with them?

I'm sorry for your loss, but glad you made it - there's a lot still left for you to do, it seems.

Thanks, sir.

GlenGilmore said...

Thanks, Danny. Most certainly a lot of work left for me -- us -- to get done yet. Sharing and loving.

Also, should've added as a postscript, that the docs did a pretty good job of putting me back together. Have managed to hike the Inca Trail and Mt. Fuji since.

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