I have seen the names of those I know, and, yes, I have cried. My problem is I don't know the names of those I tried to help only to have them die in my arms. In my sleep, I hear their cries and see their faces... Attached to this letter are my service medals. I don't need them to show I was there. I have your faces in my sleep. ~ Letter left at the Wall
Barefoot, I follow the water's edge looking for a glint of sea glass. Maybe today. Lost in the thundering surf, I'm at peace as white-winged seagulls freckle the face of the sun. Icy foam encircles my ankles, then quickly slips back into the sea on its endless journey to nowhere.
Point Dume quiets my many thoughts.
My New Years Day ritual. A perfect place to begin again. The crisp breeze carries a fragrance like no other. Like salty water, or is it tears? The crashing surf calls with a voice from the deep. And if you listen closely ... it will speak to you.
Later, I sit on the sand with my journal and talk with God, sharing my hopes and visions for the new year. He knows my heart. And I know His. I ask for guidance. I ask Him to put the people on my path He wants me to meet. I NEVER know who will appear.
Be careful of what you ask for. His thoughts are BIGGER than ours.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.
~ Matt. 7:7
Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, my memoir, took sixteen years to write. But not by choice. I resisted for 3 years. The push became a shove. An intense task for a beginner. Yet I knew others shared my story. If only I could give them HOPE ...
This book shows innocent love unblemished with hope and promise, unaware of the imminent demons vowing destruction. For eighteen years, my husband, the love of my live, fought the demons that rode his back home from Vietnam. They vowed destruction, yet Jekyll and Hyde broke my heart. A story of love made strong and raw truth revealed. PTSD is a silent parasite that not only invades our veterans ... but also the ones they love.
I can give you HOPE ... if you give me a chance.
When the world says "give up," hope whispers, "try one more time."
~ Author Unknown
Today, literary agents want submissions sent via email. I queried Diary of a Vet's Wife for one full year after completion in 2011. The rare rejections I received were polite ... most were simply deleted. No agent was willing to touch the subject.
Where do I go from here?
BLOG OF A VET'S WIFE went live April 2011. Traffic showed STUNNING interest throughout the world. As a closet writer for all those years, I never anticipated this response. Yet there they were ... 76 different countries to date.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder continues to grow like mold as war continues to cover our tiny blue planet hung in the middle of the universe. Possibly hundreds of thousands of families are living with PTSD at this moment. Men and women who love their warriors and bravely grieve, knowing life will never be the same.
How does one CARE when one doesn't know? Does one DARE TO FEEL the heartbreak of these families who could one day be theirs? Can ONE STORY touch the heart of a nation, or the world?
"Courage is simply not one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of the highest reality. " ~ CS Lewis
February 6 - I was approached by a friend after church. One of her speakers for a Retreat had cancelled. She asked if I would consider sharing my story in her place on the 28th. I had put my heart on paper, but to say it out loud in front of one hundred women ... I hesitated. Was it my PTSD? She asked me to pray on it. I did and was dutifully pushed to accept. My fear of public speaking shot through the roof.
February 28 - Fear persisted. But I knew I must do this. The fourth of seven speakers, I had never talked into a microphone. Yet here I was. Suddenly, under a stark white spotlight, it was like someone else was talking through me. My story was openly received. Many came up to speak with me. One bubbly woman said her husband worked with a local radio station, KKLA, and she was sure they would want my story. She gave me a number to call. But for many reasons we never connected.
March 21 - My friend, Sandy, invited me to visit a different church. Frank Sontag was to be the speaker. The same man I was trying be introduced to! He hosts his own show on 99.5 KKLA six days a week from 4-6pm ... the largest Christian station in L.A.
I don't believe in coincidence!
March 22 - We arrived at church early and I was able to speak briefly with Frank before the service. He knew of me through our mutual friend. I offered him a copy of my book for review, which he took on the spot.
March 23 - The NEXT DAY an email arrived from KKLA asking what days would be convenient for me to share my story on their show! That was FAST! A few emails later, a day and time were set. After all these years ... it was REALLY happening!
Could I even do this? I was a wreck. At church, I was allowed to read my 20 minute testimony. On the radio ... it's an open mic conversation for an HOUR!
April 6th - My friend, Pauline, offered to chauffeur me to the KKLA studio in Glendale for the 4pm segment. Traffic was HORRIFIC. I was happy she was driving. We arrived in enough time for a picnic lunch in a lovely little park nearby ... sunshine, sushi and home made cookies. Yummm.
At the Salem Media building, a smiling gentleman approached with an outstretched hand and invited us into his office. Terry Keyes, the station manager, wanted to talk a bit before I went on air. His relaxed manner instantly put me at ease.
Soon we were handed badges to hang around our necks, then escorted into the studio where Frank Sontag waited.
It was dreamlike ...
Frank sat behind a large half-moon desk. Four microphones permanently mounted along the outside edge. A chair by each. His smiling eyes welcomed me. I couldn't hide my nervousness. He graciously assured me everything would be fine. We talked briefly, then he prayed.
I watched as he put on his headset, then welcome his audience like I'd heard him do on the radio at home and in my car. Then he introduced ME as his GUEST and the AUTHOR of Diary of a Vet's Wife ... it was SURREAL. My jitters were fading, but my mouth wouldn't form the words I wanted to say. Frank continued to smile and nod his head in approval.
I remember sitting there, but I don't remember talking. Strange. If it wasn't for the fact they TAPED the show, I'd think it never happened. My one hour interview actually stretched into the second segment. An extraordinary experience I will NEVER forget. Frank Sontag is the KINDEST and most GRACIOUS man I have ever met. He helped me relax as he guided me through my first interview. I shall forever be thankful for this opportunity to share my story and my passion.
To hear MY INTERVIEW - BLOOPERS and all - google The Frank Sontag Show Podcasts. The interview was April 6th (2015-4-06) - Show Hour 1 and Show Hour 2.
And thank YOU for continuing to follow my blog. Blessings to each of you and your family.
"We honor the courageous service of America's 2.8 million Vietnam Veterans - especially the 58,226 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their country for the enduring cause of freedom." ~ The Wall Within
NO WAY TO REACH YOU
Geri ... If you're the woman who sent me a poem your husband wrote, please contact me at email@example.com. I'm anxious to talk with you. Blessings.