There are moments in life in which I am humbled, reminded that this self-imposed, voluntarily boarded rollercoaster that I have created for myself is but a tiny spec of what is truly important. I spend my time considering billable hours, defining processes, and dreaming up witchy tales for book 3. But someone, somewhere is sitting awake in the dark, watching the landscape while his buddy sleeps, guarding both their lives until it’s his turn to sleep.
In the past 9 days I’ve come to know one of those men. He is a 30 year old wounded war vet whose easy smile and combat tales remind me that the land that I live on was not free, and his sacrifice has kept me safe. He is genuine in a way that not even terrorism could steal, honest in a way that makes people trust him immediately, and calm when chaos sets in. He’s driven, making plans for a future that he fought to defend, and one of the most humble men I have ever met. His kind eyes watch doorways, a tattoo covers his left bicep revealing a chapter of his story, and his drive to survive brought him home despite his injuries.
While walking the halls of a quiet government building he turned to me with a gentle smile and said “so I heard you wrote a couple of books, that’s pretty amazing.”
Nodding slowly I retuned his grin humbled by his admiration, “Yeah, I guess. But I heard you served in Afghanistan and came home to tell the story, and I’d say that’s pretty amazing too.”
He gave me a solemn nod, patted his tattooed bicep and held the door for me as I stepped into the Florida sunshine. It was just another day at work, just another twirl on my rollercoaster, but this time I took the ride with a man who watched over my world while I was sleeping, and it changed me forever.