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First person perspective

April 23rd, 2004 · 1 Comment

In the past day I’ve read two powerful first person perspectives:

Via Scoble I found Lauri Evan’s story at The Right Society

Let me introduce you to somebody who lost their husband in the military. In 1988 as I waited for my husband, Dave, to come back from flight training, he didn’t.

I accidentally found out on the phone that my husband had died. I called to chat with him after I had put our daughter to bed, and the guy at the switchboard started to weep. I had no idea why. He said he couldn’t tell me anything about what had happened, and alarm bells started going off in my head. I was alone for a very long time, in absolute pain, trying not to scream and wake my daughter up. Hours later the senior military guys showed up to tell me.


My husbands casket was flown back to Dallas and actually nailed shut because I was so young at the time, they thought I might freak out and try and open it. For three solid weeks after his death I kept expecting him to walk thru the door and tell me it was all a mistake. So for three solid weeks, I didn’t sleep. I hallucinated one night that he was actually laying in our bed and I talked all night to him. The house where he grew up in was spray painted with Pink Floyd graffitti and his younger brother and I just knew it was him. It was a living nightmare for years.

About three weeks to the day of his death, a big cardboard box arrived. It had his car keys, and all his clothes, his dog tags. The treasury department tried to piece together all the money that had been in his wallet. Nothing was left but his Malibu Grand Prix driver’s license. Everything had been washed and cleaned, and lovingly packed for me.

At feministe Lauren described her experience when she was pregnant:

When I got pregnant with E, I sought out some of these services and was bombarded with the call to know and find Jesus, that He, not these people with the diapers and clothes, would be the one to help me. I needed more tangible services and their help was contingent on my sitting through sermons on God. Again, I try to be respectful of other people’s faiths, I was still going to church at the time and looking for support there, but I didn’t need the stress of not sufficiently knowing God piled on top of my need to find a safe place to live, medical care, maternity clothes, shoes to accommodate my swelling feet, a replacement for the job that didn’t want me as a liability, my high school diploma, and a path to a safer and more secure future. My wish for those who provide these services is to do so with no strings attached.

I was lucky to have free counseling by a family friend, a minister who agreed to counsel me through anything but abortion. This attached string was fine in this case because my decision was already made – I wanted to carry the pregnancy to term. In addition, he asked my permission to pray at the end of each session, a question that surprised me for it’s respect and consideration, especially in contrast to the treatment I’d received at the places I mentioned above. I let him pray – the emotional communion was more than comforting.

I probably will never lose my husband in military flight training. I probably won’t ever be a pregnant single mom. From where I am at this point in time, these two stories are far from my life. But I’m grateful that I can read what these women each experienced. I appreciate what these two mothers shared and how they were willing to write out their pain and put it into their posts. I’m glad I can listen to them. And I hope I can learn from them.

Tags: motherhood

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Lauren // Apr 23, 2004 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for the kind words. xoxo