Life is a funny thing right? It is filled with twist and turns you never expected to face. I’m not supposed to be in this damn chair crying at a computer screen wondering what happens next. I know what comes next. I forget my life in bits and pieces. I forget every piece of happiness. I only wonder how long it will be until “I love you daddy” doesn’t bring up a hundred memories of smiles and children laughing.
We take too much for granted in this life. We want to talk about privilege, but in that conversation we forget the good and focus on what is missing. We forget that we are alive another day. There was a time the privilege of coming home consumed me and the guilt of surviving almost took my life away. I almost didn’t have the world in my hands. I almost didn’t have these 3 beautiful little girls who call me daddy. I came within seconds of never having the incredible miracle I call my wife. I did not want to be here. I wanted to be free.
I don’t want to be free. I want my memories even if they haunt me. I want to remember the echo of my daughter laughing for the first time because Cain and knocked her down and laid on her. I want to remember my dog! How stupid is that? My cane corse, Cain, recently passed and had been my best friend since my accident. He’d been there every step of the way nudging me along his head into hand or lap like come on we can do this Luke. He made the trip to Florida from New York with me. He was excited to go from an apartment after a year to buying a house with a yard to pee on the things. I will never forget his reaction to Jessie and Bella, but I don’t remember our first interaction. Cain had found himself a new best friend. She could climb on his back and I could pull them both around the yard with his tug rope. He knew we were finally home. For the first time I felt like I was finally home from the war. I don’t want to forget that moment of my dog looking so happy at me or the echo of a little voice calling his name to come play.
It’s those small simple moments that make life. The things that we can not take for granted. The moments that define us. I don’t want them taken away. I’m not taking them for granted.