CHAPTER 41 Veteran Interview

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copyright 2015 Chris Smith   All rights reserved.

I slept well even though I stayed up until 12 a.m. doing my physical therapy, the Codes, and whole bunch of other energy routines and other codes to help deal with the anxiety. I also watched "Uncle Buck" for probably the tenth time. It was a nice funny movie and a great distraction.

I called my Parents at the Glass House. They had just finished picking up the last little things they wanted at the old house, the A-Frame on Parcel A. Dad seemed a little uptight. Wonderbra.

"I'm in contact with the Bank's every day. Well, not the Bank themselves but the real estate agents for both parcels," Dad said.

"The biggest source of my anxiety is the unknown. It's not knowing what is going to happen or when," I told my Parents.

That afternoon my Dad had an interview scheduled with a local World War II Veteran. Dad did quite a few veteran's interviews, capturing their personal stories with our digital cameras. He had worked a little with a local U.S. Congressman, who had believed that collecting veteran interviews was important. But it hadn't turned into a funded project. So Dad of course was back to do interviews for free.

When he walked into the room where the interview was to take place, a room full of people greeted him.

"Is there some kind of meeting in here?" Dad asked.

They were all there to see him. There was the veteran he was to interview, then the veteran's buddy from his unit came along to be interviewed, then there was two other veterans from a veteran organization who wanted to know who the hell my Dad was and what he was doing, then there was the local reporter who was doing an article about the interview, then several ladies from a local women's club. Dad was dumbfounded.

He talked to the group that had gathered and told them his vision of capturing veteran's interviews and putting them into products that the youth of the country would be interested in. Young people aren't interested in sitting there and watching boring programs. The reporter scribbled away on her notepad.

He told us later, he thought he had made a great impression with the group! We were all excited because we thought maybe the article would lead us towards funding! Maybe there was some hope and something good would come from it that would help us!

One of Dad's veteran buddies, Keith, who was there to help him with the interview, had also been at the veteran dinner at the night before.

"Was that your daughter I was seated across from at dinner last night," Keith asked after the interview.

"Yes, it was," said my Dad.

"She's gorgeous."

"Well I'll tell her you said so," my Dad replied.

I laughed when Dad told me.

There I was, this young woman seated at a table surrounded by a bunch of older couples having dinner together. I may have looked gorgeous to him but the reality was far different. I was stressed out of my gourd wearing clothes almost two sizes too big, because of all the weight I'd lost. I had no make-up on of any kind and my hair was in a simple ponytail. I felt the most vulnerable and at risk than I'd ever felt before in my entire life. And oh yeah, I had a panic attack right there at the table.

Here's this guy, seated across from me, and all he saw was a gorgeous young woman. That's it. He didn't see the stress, or the lack of sleep, or the loss of weight, or the panic, or anything else. I don't think he would have cared either, if he had seen it. I don't think it would have changed his opinion of me. Funny how people only see what they want to see or what they can see. They're limited by the lens they look through.

Dad said he got a call from both real estate agents. First, Larry called to let my Dad know that the A-Frame, on Parcel A, had been cleaned up, and he was about to list the parcel in several listing. Larry was ready for my Dad to come to his office to make the offer.

Then Nathan, the agent for Parcel B, called to let my Dad know that he knew my Dad had been served with the Eviction papers the day before. Nathan was ready for my Dad to make an offer on Parcel B, so we could buy our part of our Farm back.

I thought it was great. My Dad had cultivated relationships with both agents, and both agents were now ready to make deals. For the real estate agents we were an easy sell. We didn't have to be sold on the property. We didn't have to walk around and kick the tires. We knew it better than anyone else. We knew it, because it was our home. But we still needed the money.

That night I had a late dinner. My Parents had come over in the evening to tell me about their day, which took about an hour. I read them the ending I had written to this book, the ending I hoped for. Well more like I muddled through reading it. I kept breaking down in uncontrollable sobs.

"This is like an emotional release for you isn't it? Writing this thing [book]?" Dad asked.

"Yeah, it is," I replied.

The book was only the safe place I had where I could express myself and how I felt. There was no one to judge me here. There was no one to tell me what an idiot I was on these pages where I scribbled all my vulnerabilities. It was just the silence and peace of me flowing into the words. The words became my therapy, my release of the pain, and therefore my savior as well.

I didn't know where the story would take me. All I knew was that I had to write it. I had to put the feelings into words. I had to put the painful silence somewhere. I had it get it out of me. I had to tell our story, even if it was only for myself.

"You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand."

Irene C. Kassorla

Therapist, Author

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