Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.
I wear these bracelets nearly every day. They are all scratched up and bent, All three are extremely important to me for various reasons, but do you see that one in the middle?
This weekend, I was at a party with The Boyfriend's family. Across the street live a couple of Marines, and one found his way over to the driveway. I noticed his bracelet immediately. It matched mine. So I asked him about it.
And he was quiet. And he stroked over the cool black metal. And he did the same thing I do. He took it off so I could read it myself.
Until we meet again in Valhalla.
"I always like it when people ask me about mine," I told him. "His story is important." I sort of smiled at him. We shared some kind of awful kinship.
He watched the kids at the end of the driveway shooting off fireworks. "I like that the people that ask about them are the ones that are the most sincere."
I nodded my head. Yes. I suppose he was right.
He continued, his gaze never really wavering from the mayhem around him. His eyes never really skipped over to mine. "I wear mine for all of my buddies that have committed suicide. I had a funeral just a couple of weeks ago. It was unexpected."
And then our conversation was over.
Because what do you even say to that?
The VA came out with a study that says 22 veterans take their lives every single day, or one every 65 minutes. Other studies discount it as being too high of a number, and yet more say it's too low.
The Boyfriend packed up the car on Sunday night. Chairs. A pasta bowl. A sticky tube of bubbles and a couple of trains. We headed back home. And the next morning, while Tucker was playing with his trains and building a track out of puzzle pieces, I looked up Valhalla. Shyly. Almost ashamed that I had no idea what it was. Where it was. Who it was. Whatever it was.
Valhalla comes from Old Norse - it translates to the Hall of the Slain. The god Odin sent half of his fallen warriors to the huge hall in Asgard. It was an honor, and the Marine Corps has sort of latched onto it and taken it over as their own battle cry.
Warriors entering into the Hall of the Slain. Waiting.
Standing by the doors.
Watching them open and close as more walk in.
Until they can all meet again.
He was much younger than me, standing with one hand in his pocket and one hand around a drink. Slowly he sipped from his can and even as he stood there, his shoulders were thrown back. His chin was high.
Much younger than me.
But a warrior he was.
Here is where you can help.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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