No, not the gray hair or the lines etched strategically across my weathered face. What I finally see is what’s no longer there.
It’s Not There
The hard, stone-faced expression that held hollow eyes that had seen too much. Or the worried frown from a quarter century of digesting everyone else’s trauma without healing from my own.
I don’t see the rigidity in my battered frame from a life of hypervigilance, hard physical abuse through specialized training or living on a few hours of sleep per night.
Nor do I see the bent, broken hands that always hovered close to the multiple weapons I never went without.
Even That’s Gone
I sure don’t see the cell phone jammed in my ear while listening to the world’s problems with an unrealistic expectation to solve every one of them.
And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I get to go a few hours without seeing the faces of the injured, the abused or the murdered. Though I don’t think I’d like them to completely go away as they remind me of why I’ve done what I’ve done on their behalf.
Mostly what I don’t see is the me who wasn’t sure he’d make it to the other side, or ever come to know love again with a chance to experience the normalcy of a white picket fenced life.
Thanks To Her
Of course, Leah made that possible and I thank her. And thanks to her what I do get to see is what she sees in me. I gotta tell you, it’s nothing close to how I used to see myself.
What don’t you see in yourself anymore?