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CJ Heck

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1969 - The Gift
By CJ Heck
Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Miracles do happen, but only when we least expect them ...

1969 - The Gift
by CJ Heck

A few weeks ago, Robert and I were watching an older HBO series, "The Pacific", and I was reminded of a huge synchronicity that happened to me many years ago. When it was over and we turned the TV off, I talked about it with him. He felt it was significant and something I should share.

Some things are difficult to write about. They're too close to our hearts and our emotions to even talk about so, please bear with me, as I try and morph emotion into words ...

I've talked before about my first husband, Doug. We were married in January of 1969, and he left shortly after for Vietnam, in May. Doug was a combat medic with the 199th Infantry Division and, during a horrific firefight, he was killed in action in September of 1969.

In August of 1969, my paternal grandmother suddenly died from a brain aneurysm. We were all saddened, of course, especially since she was only 59, young, even by 1969 standards. How tenuous life is -- none of us ever knows how long we have.

I debated about how best to tell Doug. He was very close to Gramma Parrish. He loved cooking, like she did, and they often talked recipes and ingredients as he savored her latest delicacy -- Gramma was a wonderful cook and he was probably her greatest fan. He had to know, and I was going to have to tell him.

As I was tearfully writing about Gramma, it occurred to me again just how precious every minute is with loved ones. I missed him so much. I would have given anything to be holding him and telling him in person about Gramma -- I suddenly wondered, what if something happened to me? Who would be the one to tell Doug? Who would console him? Then I knew. I would. As I sat there, a poem came out of nowhere. It was an easy write, so unlike others I had written, and I went racing with it's loving emotion and insight.

If Only a Minute
(Written August 1969)

Sweetheart, if I only have a minute
to say goodbye to you,
let me whisper what Im thinking
when my time on earth is through.

I'll tell you how Ive loved you
and how happy I have been,
please, don't think of me as leaving,
for I know well meet again.

We'll hold each other close once more
and I'll kiss away your tears.
We'll talk of precious things weve shared
through all our loving years.

When my time with you has ended
and He calls for me to come,
Just know, Ive always loved you.
Please take care of everyone.

When I finished, I folded the poem with the letter, addressed the envelope, licked the stamp and like so many other letters, I kissed it and dropped it into the mailbox to find its way to Doug. Even now, as I look back, I'm amazed that I was so blind to the fact that Doug could be the one who died. I was so sure he would return, I refused to even think about any other outcome.

Months later, after his funeral, I received a large envelope from the Army. Inside was a small package of unopened letters that had not reached Doug before he was killed. Among the letters was the one I had written about Gramma's passing. Oh my God, I thought, he never knew ... and then the poem slipped out of the envelope and fell to the floor.

As I bent down and picked up the poem, I began to read and I sobbed. The words took on a whole new meaning -- as though Doug had written the words to me, and I felt somehow comforted. I didn't know then that this was called a synchronicity, but I do remember feeling that it came from a higher power, something wonderful, yet mysterious. This was a miracle, a magical message, to me from Doug.

I'm so glad Gramma was there to Welcome Doug Home.

       Web Site: Barking Spiders Poetry for Children

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Reviewed by JMS Bell 7/19/2011
Reviewed by Janice Scott 7/17/2011
This is so moving, CJ. A real gift - thank you.
Reviewed by Joy Hale 7/17/2011
What a beautiful story of love and longing for one you loved. Your words reach out to grab the heart of the reader; so touching. A 5 star story that will remain in my heart.

Joy L. Hale
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman 7/17/2011
Wonderful story along with the poem written by you, that, to you, became the words written by your, by then, deceased husband. I could actually imagine the spiritual wonder of reading what you had written now mentally superimposed to be words Douglas had written.
Very touching, to say the least.
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 7/17/2011
beautifully poignant and touching
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/17/2011
Wonderful story, CJ; well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by J Howard 7/17/2011
Some stories are more then the words written on a page, as our yours here. Very brave to share these inner thoughts. May i suggest that as your guardian angel, your Gramma Parrish was with you-directing you as you wrote that beautiful poem-
my best,

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