This One Time, Listen Up and Hard

I want to tell you something about the man I eventually want to be with for the rest of my life. I need you to really hear me, really cry with me, really feel the pain and joy that I felt when Daniel decided that I was trustworthy enough to be trusted with a story this big. I want it to go around the world by tomorrow, and I’m not kidding. I want you to lose your MINDS when you hear his story, and I want to make myself the best known writer in the world for this one entry alone. I do not think this is undoable. Please make me famous for this one thing, and I will owe you everything.

I just got a text message from Daniel that said, “my girl, be prolific.”

Well, I am nothing if not that.

It was a calm day in the market when Daniel was in country. He noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He stood strong and shot.

The “noticing someone” was a terrorist wiring up a five year old child to explosives so that he could blow up everyone in the plaza.

If I showed you the award he got for it, the Marines in the audience would lose their minds.

I did. I took on all his pain. Just all of it. I sobbed and sobbed and couldn’t get ahold of myself for hours, and I’m sobbing even now. I can’t get over it. I am too filled with joy that even though it was the worst day of his life, it feels like the best day of mine.

I definitely had thoughts. The first was the strength it took for a military-trained nurse practitioner to break the Hippocratic Oath…. to wrestle with it, because he was tasked with saving life, not taking it. I wonder what it was like to look a terrorist in the eye, knowing that under normal circumstances, you’d be taking his history and physical. The second time was just how close I came to losing one of the great loves of my life before it ever happened…. well, as children. It counts, but there’s so much more. The third was how humbled I know I’ll be to be in his presence. It’s a reverence that will fade when he hasn’t done x or y, but will never be forgotten. Please don’t let it be forgotten by anyone else.

But don’t you DARE do it to honor me. I’m just the messenger.

This entry is going to be short, but I hope it hits you like you didn’t even see gravity’s rainbow until the bomb NEARLY went off, taking a five-year-old with it.

Sit in that. I did. I am humbled. Just bleeding out with gratitude. My heart can barely take it, but it wants to.

Editor’s Note (DW): When we called general quarters on the ship, I never felt the mixture of fear and excitement. It was all business. I took control of my sound powered phone with my CSOSS manuals and a dry erase marker and kept track of what systems were up and down. That was my job during the shit in the shop. Afghanistan isn’t even a different animal. It’s a different being. You literally see a bag of chips and ask if that’s a ied. The excitement is skipped and the fear is squared. Getting back to the wire was a tear leaking experience , because thank fuck today wasn’t the day and all 7 of us came back

I just had a thought that is so funny that I cannot end the entry without telling you. “When you want something done right, hire a Corpsman.”

Let me also add a note to my dad and all my friends in Naples, particularly Tiffany Anthony, MD. I am fully convinced that I am eventually going to marry Hawkeye and House, mixed with the very best of Jimmy Leeves we have left in this world and Dr. Anthony in our corner from Dallas.

2 thoughts on “This One Time, Listen Up and Hard

  1. I read and reread ‘This One Time, Listen Up and Hard’ a few times. To say what Daniel certainly deserves the medal of valor for his actions. I know, as someone who worked as a nurse for 18 years, the job is to save lives. Daniel may have taken one but he saved many more with his quick thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to think closely about what to say here, because I can’t think about the story without absolutely losing my mind with grief. This is due to my own reaction to that story. The man I want to call my husband went through that big of a traumatic experience, and my first reaction was, “oh my God. He got him.” I feel like I reduced the worst day of his life. And then I realized what I had thought, and was grateful I never said it out loud. I am greatly struggling with my feelings about this. How to show gratitude. Daniel absolutely saved so many people, but it took a large part of his heart. I hope that over my lifetime, he will give me the chance to heal it.

      Like

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