We all got back from a memorial service yesterday in
We all had such a good time with him during the week when he was part of our February Team Training class. Despite his TBI, he had made enormous progress with the training and we got to see a new side of him – the generous fun side – when he brought cinnamon rolls from the local bakery to the staff every morning.
10 days after we moved Zest into his apartment, we got a notice he had died. They don’t know the cause, but I think it might have been heart failure. He always said they had him on a lot of meds b/c of his PTSD and he’d been hospitalized a few months earlier when as he put it, his heart stopped.
I happened to be in
I learned a lot more about Paul at his memorial service. Everyone spoke about his generosity. About how he was always the first to volunteer. About how he always brought back loads of candy and toys for the kids at their Christmas parties. How in
The American Legion building in
It was profound to learn about this man through the eyes of his family and friends. We met him only through one facet of his life – his injuries and his attempts to recover. We were just starting to see the other facets – fun, generosity, enthusiasm, productivity. I imagined him as isolated other than what we were going to bring him with his new Hearing Dog. I was so pleased to see what a full life he had. It was a real lesson for me to appreciate someone as a whole person and not just the vulnerable part of them that brings them to us for help.
I really dislike mortality. It’s not fair that this happened just when things were opening up for Paul. It’s not fair that the other guys in his vehicle were killed and that the female soldier was so tragically injured. It’s not fair that Paul had nightmares for 3 years about what he had to do, and it’s not fair that the medicine he took for it may have damaged him in other ways.
These people are very straightforward. They are proud to serve. They are dedicated to serving and to helping each other. They are very modest. They take care of each other. They are not fancy people, but they are the foundation that keeps all of us secure. I’m glad we could be a little part of a good thing for them. I wish we could have been more.
The sun has finally come out today after two weeks of rain and dark skies. This is a good day for the sun to be out.