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A WARRIOR GOES HOME
As the wedding quests gathered in our kitchen at the Sky Wind Bonsai Garden there was a feeling of great celebration. We were gathered together for a new marriage--Pat and Shirley. They were the couple who lived in the apartment in the front of the house.
When first meeting Pat and Shirley who were also living in the house there was a feeling of annoyance. For it would be necessary to share our space with them. For a man who had been living by himself in his tent and moving into a house instead of sharing it Marion, there now appeared to be two more people. Still we each had our own bedroom and we shared the kitchen and the living room.
My annoyance was short lived. Marion in her wisdom had said. "David, remember there are no mistakes. Everyone in your life is there as a mirror of who you are. There appears to be something that we all have in common and need to work out together.”
She continued, “this is a true healing center. We are all suffering from a lot a pin in our lives. Pat is a tired professional warrior. Shirley has just gotten out of a disastrous divorce were her husband was an alcoholic. You and I have many scars from our divorce process which we are still in the process of healing. We all are warriors in some respect who need each other and a place that is safe.”
Her thought was that this house was a new community for the healing of warriors who no longer what to fight. The special part of our community was it just emerged it was not planned. Her wisdom helped ease the situation.
We would meet in the family kitchen each night for a country dinner. After dinner we would sit and talk for a while before cleaning us the kitchen. In the conversation the one thing that was common to all of us was that we were all centered on giving and being there for each other. No one was focused on taking, controlling, or owning.
What a joy to live in a house where since we had met there had been no upsets. The focus was always on love--and giving.
Shortly after moving in it became obvious that Pat's neck was beginning to swell in the form of a bunch on the side. It got bigger and bigger. The diagnoses was cancer. Further diagnosis revealed cancer of the throat as well as the kidney. In fact we latter learned that the cancer was totally through out his entire body.
As his neck began to swell he began to tell his war stories. One night he told a deferent kind of story then the stories he had shared with us in the past. It was as if the pain of the stories and his hidden anger at all that he had been a part of was trapped in the cancer of his neck and body. For he was a professional solder--a career Marine Gunny Sergeant. A good combat marine, of thirty years service, who always said, "Yes sir.” Then did what he was asked to do.
He had fought for two years in northern Korea. Including standing on the shore of the Yellow River that Christmas day as thousands and thousands of Chinese marched across the river to drive the UN Forces back to South Korea.
He told of how the first third of the Chinese did not even have guns. As the Chinese marched forward the Marines could not kill them fast enough. The barrels of their guns melted.
The killing went no till the ice covered river was totally red with blood. When all the men of the first wave were killed the second wave came with their guns. They simply walked over the dead bodies and drove the Americans south. For the next 60 days his group fought each day to survive, in their desperate retreat to the safety of the south.
We all sat in silence as he told his stories for what was emerging was a side of Pat that had never come out before. It was the hidden pain that was at the root of his cancer.
After the war he re-enlisted again. The next war found him in Vietnam for 26 months. He told of going on patrols and finding his buddies from other patrols having been captured by the Vietcong. Their bodies dismembered into he most gruesome of manners. A manner that made it clear that the men had been alive when it had occurred. The tragic stories continued.
His stories shifted to the lectures he would give the men in his platoon, in his efforts to keep them alive and bring them back at the end of the patrol. He was proud that he brought more men, which were assigned to him, home alive than any other gunny Sergeant. It was obvious that he truly loved his men and life. And he was simply being a good gunny doing what he was to the best that he could.
Watching him as he sat across from me at the kitchen table he was now fighting another battle. A battle to live. That night it was easy to see the cause of his cancer. It was from the tears and anger that was trapped in ever cell of his body as he carried out his orders.
Sitting at the table tears began to form in his eyes as for a moment his persona shifted. He became the tired old warrior who was filled with hidden pain over doing what he was told to do and not always liking it but realizing it had to be done.
As quickly as it began it ended as he regained his composure. Looking at Pat it was clear he was confused. For with the sharing of the stories it was like exposing a side of him he had buried. With the exposure and then closing the door again on his past the cancer increased. The pain filled stories never surfaced again. However it was clear the shell of the egg had cracked.
What a gift God had given me again in the form of another powerful awake dream. Looking at the pain and the cancer there came the awareness once again that there are only two emotions that can energy the energy of life. The emotions are love and fear. Fear creates disease in ones body, mind and spirit, where love has no detrimental effect.
Listening to his story the result on his body from being a physical mental warrior who killed in the name of peace was the same result as the corporate warrior who destroys lives in the board room in the name of profit, or the marriage partner who does battle with their spouse and is willing to destroy another through the divorce process, in the name of being right and taking what is perceived as theirs, often time just to get even.
A few days latter came their decision to marry for like a good solder he wanted to live life in love as much as possible before his final battle began. The date was set for Valentine's day. We all pitched in to make the house ready for the celebration--of love.
The night before the wedding his pain became so intense that we all became concerned for him. He spent the entire day in bed which was not his usual way of doing things no matter how bad he felt.
Shirley came to me and said, "He's in so much pain. He has told me to leave. I don't know what to do. I love him, but he will not let me near him."
She looked at me and added, "He needs someone by his side. Will you go in?"
Without question my answer was, "Certainly."
Approaching his room the pain was so intense that it forced me to stop and center myself. In my centering the request went up to God for answers. Why his pain and his cancer? What am I to do? Please give me the power and wisdom to do what is needed for him.
The time of the professional warriors is finished. He is being brought home. When he arrives he will be instantly healed, and returned to live on planet earth again. To live in peace, in the world that he and others liked him helped create.
Suddenly as if the dam opened and the message without words formed in my heart to never be forgotten. The decoded message was; As we enter the 21C it will become a time of eternal peace. Always remember that it could not of happened with out warriors like him. It is hard to understand being on earth.
When you come home and see the big picture his role and the role of others like him in the history of the universe will be made clear to you and others. In unity there is no right or wrong action. In unity there are simply events created to keep life in balance by creating lessons to allow us to opportunity to experience, learn and to become love.
Feeling the rightness of the message my belief was without question that there truly are no mistakes in life, the message in my heart was, it is time to enter his room. He looked up and invited me to sit beside him on his bed. Entering the room there came the feeling of being in the presence of a mighty warrior, who was in pain, and was dyeing.
Sitting on the bed next to him an experience occurred that will never be forgotten. Looking at his face there appeared the image of a 2x2 film strip across his forehead. Taking hold of the hand of the mighty warrior that he was, the light bulb of the projector clicked on. The film strip began to move.
Each frame would pause for a moment as if to allow me time to bring the image into focus. Each image appeared to be a single moment from one of the many battles he had fought. Each picture was of Pat holding a dying solder in his arms and crying as the man's spirit was preparing to leave his body.
The images continued.
Holding his hand as the pictures continued, the words flowed forth from my heart, "It's OK, You did the best that you could. We never know why. It was important that you did what you were asked to do. God is with you now. God has always been by your side. God will always be by your side."
The words continued, "Its OK for a warrior to cry. Your pain is very real. I can see it. I can feel it. I can taste and smell the fear that you have passed through. Just know it’s OK. Know I’m here for you, just like you were for so many in the past.
The movie continued as if it were never ending. In my effort to try to ease the pain it was clear what needed to be done. Leaning across his chest and feeling his heart beneath mind we hugged. The words continued to flow. “You're a good man Gunny. You fought well. I’m here for you now.”
He put his arms around me and we hugged as the two ancient warriors that we were. With the hug there came a feeling of his spirit entering a safe place--and the pictures ended. It was clear that something magical had happened in his letting me into see and experience his physical and emotional pain. The shell of his protection had cracked again and allowed more love to enter. His emotional pain lessened but the physical pain continued.
Seeing the emotional and physical pain he carried as a physical warrior, my commitment was reaffirmed never again be a mental and verbal warrior with Margaret or anyone else again. My thought was that this was an awake dream and he represented the warrior in me as if he was a parallel life. For in my life there had been a dream to be a warrior but I did not have the courage to join the fighting service so I joined the Coast Guard. After the service my role had been that of a mental warrior.
What a gift he had given me to allow me to see the possibility of the result of my life if the dark side of me had been played out in my physical life. In addition it was a gift to see that if my mental warrior continued to be in charge of my life the same dis-ease process would take me out like his cancer was taking him out.
Sitting up and holding his hand again it was clear that only through death would it be possible for his pain to end. Looking into his eyes it appeared to me that we had played out the sacred warrior’s ritual of preparation for death. A ritual of opening and connecting the warrior’s heart to the Divine Heart. As a result when his death arrives this special warrior will go directly to the light.
With the slowing of his emotional pain we all got into the truck and took him to the hospital for some pain medicines. For as a good Marine he was determined to marry the woman who had shown him the power of love.
As Pat and Shirley made the commitment to be there for each outer no matter what, the question arose in my mind, if Margaret and I both made this commitment and she broke her part of the commitment does that give me permission to break my part of the commitment? Instantly my heart responded, NO.
My mind continued to focus on the memories of our wedding and the point just after we both had made our commitment to love and be there no matter what, and our Minster had just pronounced us man and wife. With the pronouncement there had been a role of thunder from horizon to horizon in the clear evening sky. Someone said, “It appears God has heard your commitment and has blessed the marriage, and is going to hold you to your commitment.”
In the closing of Pat and Shirley’s wedding they came to the part where the minister quoted the message that, if a person loves enough unconditionally they will be the most powerful person in the world. There will be no river they can not cross, mountain they can not climb or situation in their relationship that they cane not heal. They only need to love enough.
For the next few months we all worked as a team to help Pat move through his dis-ease process. For a while it appeared that he was winning this the most important battle in his life. One day a tired old General said, "The War we waged in Vietnam was a mistake that was made in Washington."
As a warrior he did not understand the General’s message that it was time to let go and tell the truth and to forgive and move on with out individual and collective healing. With the feeling of betrayal by the General who he had severed and honored the big question arrived in his heart. The question that all dedicated warriors fear they will ask themselves one day. Why? For the general had said fight we must, and the warriors fought and many died. If it was a mistake then what can a gunny sergeant tell the spirits of those who he lead into battle and died in his arm.
Because his pain was so deep he was unable to see the unity of life and the need for forgiveness of the past to allow healing to take place. As a result gunny felt betrayed. His confusion and pain increased as did his cancer, as did the question--Why?
With the unanswered question Why? the cancer gained its final hold of the warriors body--to never let go again. As the cancer progressed and it came time for him to go home God gave him a very special present as a reward for services rendered. God’s gift was that of a woman he loved and who loved him for who he was, to sit by his side and hold his hand and his heart in her love.
One afternoon while holding his hand she loved him directly from this realm into the light.
In my reflection on his death and our special connection there came a new Truth with a capital T. A Truth that set me free. In my helping an old warrior die with love, and to see the pain that he carried because of his many battles, it helped me to clear an heal the pattern and pain of the warrior in me.
From this day forth there will be no event that would ever make me do battle again with Margaret or anyone else in my life--no matter what. Thank you Pat.