“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~Leo Buscaglia

Many of us remember the Vietnam War (Vietnam “Conflict” as it once was called). I certainly do, but at the time it was a war that we watched at night while eating dinner in the family room.

The TV was always turned off if we were eating dinner at the dining room table. That time was reserved for family discussions. My parents did not object to us having spirited discussions during dinner in the dining room, but we were not going to have them with the TV blaring in the background.

I don’t remember our conversations about Vietnam, but I feel certain we had them.

After high school, my boyfriend and I went to different colleges. The war was still going on at that time, and former classmates were enlisting in the military, some were drafted, and a few went to Canada or so I was told much later. There were those who came home wounded for life, while others came home in body bags.

My boyfriend enrolled in the Army ROTC program, but he was never called for active duty because of injuries he received after four years of college football. He went to law school, instead. Still, the war raged on.

Years later, I met the man who I thought I would marry. He had fought in Vietnam. We talked about the war and his tours of duty. What become apparent, as time went by, was that he was not a well man. He became violent and abusive; jealous and possessive; confrontational and frightening. We never married.

Fast forward … (which has nothing to do with Vietnam)

What I have discovered on this latest journey of my life is the kindness of strangers and people with good hearts and souls … those who look beyond the flaws and extend hands of friendship. I pray that I can give back an ounce of what they have given to me.

© Catherine Evermore. All rights reserved.

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