Friday, October 10, 2008

Last Death

Last Friday, I headed to the new JCPenny opening in Avon, driving through Avon Lake. A native ALer, young man about 27, Michael Medders, had been killed in this war (nope, I do not support the war as it is going but I do honor those men and women who have pledged their very lives in this endeavor....they have more faith in the government than I do). All along the path, EVERY sign...manufactured or homemade...bid love and farewill to Michael. Flags were everywhere. All the way down Rt. 83....flags...on both sides of the street about 6 feet apart. At the intersection of 83 and Walker road, two huge fire trucks...the kind with those tall ladders/cherry pickers....were on either side of the street, holding up this enormous flag, that waved down onto the traffic.

I met Michael once, about a year ago, when he was the best man and Tori and Zach's wedding, which Robert performed at DeLuca's. So altho I didn't know him, I knew his kind...and I wept at his passing, and his family/friends' loss. The world will not be the same. And the pain, as I told Zach, never goes away.

This I know from personal experience. I had a high school chum, Doug Schmaltz, who went to VietNam. A more fun person you will never find. And he was just a chum....but oh! could he kiss! I loved kissing that boy. I wrote to him while I attended BYU. The last letter I got from him said, "Susi, I don't think I can crouch low enough." Those words shook me up on that day and to this day. I immediately began writing to him every day....just as my mom had done for me when I first arrived at BYU and hated it. Every day. But nothing came back from Doug. Until one day...when not only was my letter to Doug returned to me but it was returned with a telegram notifying me of his passing. I remember going into the shower, clothes and all, and sobbing. Oh how I hated that war! And I sobbed for a long time. But then sadly, every letter I sent him was returned with the same telegram info. After awhile, I quit opening it. I already knew what it said.

And to this day, the pain of losing Doug still exists. I didn't get to return for the memorial service held in Parma, OH.....I have never seen his "grave" but in my heart, Doug still lives. I hope his dying was fast. I hope he never knew what hit him. I think Michael was that fortunate.

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing...........if you aren't old enough to know that song, then you aren't old enough, period.

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