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
January 1, 2015 ...
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
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.
of what you ask for. His thoughts are BIGGER
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
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."
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 -
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
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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
It was dreamlike
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm anxious to talk with you. Blessings.