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E T Waldron

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Part Two- Clare's Wartime Journal
By E T Waldron
Saturday, May 28, 2005

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           >> View all 36

Tom comes home!

Sorry I posted in a hurry first part and used the wrong title;-)


It was like something in a movie. When I saw Tom he looked like an old shriveled up man, and couldn't  walk. He was in a Veterans hospital because he hadn't had proper care.  In the poor  Nam jungle area where he had been living, they had no doctors and only herbs for medicine. He now had to have surgery on both legs. They didn't think there was anything they could do for his lower spine damage, but he might be able to walk some if his legs were fixed.

He stared at me as if I were a stranger then began to sob asking me how could I have betrayed him. I tried to hold him and he pushed me away, saying"Clare I got through only because I had you to come home to. You are all I thought about. When my mom told me you had our son I was stunned , but full of joy, but then she told me you got married,and now you're pregnant with his baby. How could you? "

I too began to cry, I felt so guilty and hopeless. I hadn't come to see Tom right away, I let his parents handle it their way. They had asked me to give them some time to break it to Tom, about the whole situation. I waited a week so he could get a grip on things. They had to build him up before the surgery, now they were ready to operate ,so I came to see him. Looking at him now after what he had said,I wished I could sink into the ground. I felt so terrible.

Finally I tried to explain how lonely it had been and how they gave us no hope of ever finding him if he were even still alive. I told him I waited until Robbie was six months old before I even went out to a movie. Then tried to explain the job and meeting Sam. He cried again when I mentioned Sam.

"Please Tom, try to understand , I'm still so young too ,for all of this to have happened. I thought I'd never see you again. It isn't easy being alone raising a boy, and....he interrupted

"But you weren't alone my mom has told me how she took care of  Robbie all this time. You should have tried a little harder to remember you loved me since 5th grade as you always said. It couldn't have been a very strong love."

"Thats not fair, Tom, You were my first and only love. I ached for you every night, I was so lonesome, it isn't easy to have a baby and my parents, so disappointed in me they hardly spoke to me . Your mom was so good, that's why I turned to her, yes she still takes care of Robbie and I love her more than my own mom, but"....Again he interrupted me"Tell me one thing do you love Sam?"
I started to cry again..." I'm sorry Tom, yes I do, he's so good to Robbie too, and he really loves both of us, I would do anything if this hadn't happened Tom I do love you too, but how can I....

" Perhaps it's best you leave now Clare. I'm tired and I don't much want to hear anymore...

"Please Tom, I want to be here for you, through your surgery, and hear about what you went through, I really do care Tom, please let me help...Tom please..."

He had gone silent on me, his face turned away eyes closed. I waited about five minutes, then said" I'll leave now but I'll be back tomorrow, after your surgery. "

Tom came through both of his surgeries during the next six months. He began to get stronger and after lots of therapy, when he finally came home he looked almost like the Tom that went to war three  and a half years.
 before. Except for a few lines that aged his handsome rugged face. we had settled into a cool. but honest relationship.We had to resolve some things which made us both older and wiser.

Tom wanted custody of Robbie. At first I rebelled, but after some long discussions with all members in all families, I finally decided to let him have Robbie. We lived close enough that I'd see him as often as I wanted to and whenever Robbie needed me I was right there
I also had twins born while Tom was still at the hospital. I have a boy and a girl , that keep me very busy. I gave up work to stay home to raise them.

Tom and Sam have a good relationship though not close, they respect each other. Sara has always taken excellent care of Robbie, and no w with Tom sharing the task it is a very good situation all around. Even my parents started to join in our family doings. We all have our parts to play and make the best of it all.

Tom is the one who has suffered most. Physically mentally, spiritually. He has been tested beyond what the rest of us have. Little by little we learn more of his Viet Nam experience, and it isn't easy to hear about. He has seen and went through things we can only imagine. He is overcoming it by starting to work in his fathers Industrial construction business. He can't do the outside work, but he has been studying blueprints, and planning. The business will be his one day, so it's good that he learns it first hand. Tom has to spend most of the time in a wheelchair, but he is able to walk some, until the pain becomes unbearable .

We are all doing our best to help Tom and to keep our families on an even keel. Lets hope the war is over soon. It has done much damage to families beyond what is seen on the battlefield, as wars always do.  Perhaps  this will be the last war if we ever get over it, wouldn't that be wonderful!



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Reviewed by Sheila Roy 1/18/2008
Sounds like things worked out as best as possible. I like how the end stresses the fact that war reaches beyond the land it is fought on. Well done:)
Reviewed by Tracey L. O' Very 5/30/2005
Yes that would be more than wonderful. This is a heart breaking and heartwarming story and I love the way it ends here with all pitching in supporting one another all being "friends" as so often these situations don't. It is a Wonderful Story Thank you so much Alrisha.
Reviewed by Roger Ochs 5/28/2005
I believe that Clare "did the right thing". The problem with stories based in reality is that so few people like reality.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 5/28/2005
Sorry Jerry, this is based on a true story and I wrote it as it was told to me;-)
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 5/28/2005
This part had a lot more tecnical errors that the other one. Also, one thingstrunk me as strange. The part where she gave the baby to Tom.

"Tom wanted custody of Robbie. At first I rebelled, but after some long discussions with all members in all families, I finally decided to let him have Robbie. We lived close enough that I'd see him as often as I wanted to and whenever Robbie needed me I was right there
I also had twins born while Tom was still at the hospital. I have a boy and a girl, that keep me very busy. I gave up work to stay home to raise them."

Kinda sounds like that first child wass just spoils of war, you spoke of it almost like it was a sack of flower. "I have a boy and a girl," just sounded kinda cold to me. Maybe it is just me.
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 5/28/2005
This was so good and poignant Eileen, I liked how you ended this,

Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 5/28/2005
wonderful write, eileen; brava!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :D

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