11 November 2011

Five Minute Friday: Today and Thank You

I walk past him in the cereal aisle.  His walk tired, deliberate.  His shoes black and polished, coat gray and an older style.  His hair just as gray.  His glasses black plastic, like my grandparents.

It isn't his glasses, his walk, or anything else that draws me to look him in the eyes.

He wears a baseball cap with the name of his regiment.  It's right there, in your face.  I served my country.

He is the same age as my Dziadek, the same age as my husband's grandfathers.  He was where they were.  You can tell.  In the trenches, fighting, swearing, praying, watching comrades fall.

My older daughter looks at him and smiles.  He smiles back and starts to hobble on, pushing his cart.

"Thank you for serving, sir," I tell him.  His eyes tear up a little.

My heart breaks.  I'm sure his has, many times over.

He nods a little, jerks his head a bit and walks on.

I walk on and begin to tell my daughters why I told him that.  What his hat meant.  Why you should respect those who served.  My family's own story serving and my husband's family stories.

The world's story.  And it's long, complicated.  I stop from telling them too much.  Let them have their innocence just a little bit longer.

My father's wisdom rings in my ears as I think about the little bit of food that was in that veteran's cart. 

The elderly and veterans should be taken care of.  They worked their whole lives and sacrificed everything for the next generation.

Na razie...

Today is both Veteran's Day and Poland's Independance Day.  How will you be observing?

An Interesting Article:  Homeless Veterans, By the Numbers

I joined Five Minute Friday today and just wrote for five minutes without pause what I feel.  You can join on The Gypsy Mama.


Dea said...

Our family "adopted" a Polish daughter, Anetta while she attended college her in the United States. She was such a blessing to our family. She did not return to Poland but is raising her family her in the USA.

I miss hearing her pray in Polish and serving her cabbage roll. When she smelled the aroma in the kitchen it reminded her of Christmas in Poland.

So glad I found your blog from Five Minute Friday. :)

Megryansmom said...

Kasia, you have a beautiful heart.

Rima said...

This post really touched me. I could see the whole scene transpire plain as day. Broke me heart, too.