Saturday, January 10, 2009

"And the evening and the morning were the first day."

It rained all morning and even after I took a bullet to the heart it kept going. I thought it would end with my death but it went on. I was French, even, but it mattered not. I fought for the Empire. I died for The Queen, too. My family hated me for it but I knew it was bigger than all of us.
I was building Canada.
The farm I left would go on. My rifle, $18 dollars worth, was collected by my regiment and sent home, thank God. I think my father kept it

It felt like a sneeze, when I was hit. A sneeze that is kept in at the base of the lungs and the final shake was my soul escaping to God. But there was no light for me. There was just quiet eternity.
I died for you. I died for my wife and two girls and I did it because it was the right thing to do; to fight, to win, to stop this all. And I stopped, too.

The feeling of it all, the rain and the smell of mud and smoke, was like when I hunted with my father as a boy. We took the horses North every fall just before the snow came. We came back with some deer and my mother was always happy. I loved her in those final moments. I saw it all and knew that I was not going to see it again. It was warm and sweet, dying like that. I wasn't afraid and knew that I would get to leave these Belgian trenches finally.

The mud tasted of poison. When I fell and caught some of it in my mouth I could taste it as they used chemicals, mustard. I thought that the taste of earth would disgust me but I in fact didn't mind. It was the chemicals I noticed the most. But I only noticed them shortly, as my life seeped out.

I hope you are proud and that I didn't shame you. Dying was easy, I just let it come and didn't cry out.
I didn't even pray, although God will forgive me because I couldn't keep those thoughts together. They were like shards of a broken window pane, scattered and chaotic; broken, and I was no longer in control.

I love you and I wish that I could have stayed, but the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, I guess.

I should have shaved that morning but there was no time as the enemy came at dawn.

Don't forget me. Don't cry, too.

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