Wednesday, September 17, 2008


When I first started this blog I chose to mediate comments. I felt pretty exposed writing about Kirk in a public forum - it was the first time I had really, truly said right out loud to the whole world that he was missing. I had held that secret so tightly for so long that it became a defensive wall; it began to define me. I had made a few chinks in it, telling a person here or there, but only when it was absolutely necessary (my boss when the article in Time was coming out; a colleague when she simply wouldn't stop asking questions and I didn't want to overtly lie). The blog was a mental load of dynamite at the very foundations of the wall and it left me terribly vulnerable.

The last thing I wanted was to wake up to a load of comments like "War is evil and the Iraq war is killing babies so by writing this you are killing babies! Love, anonymous" or "OMG! Dick Cheney like totally talks to God and you are making Jesus cry because you hate the war!" Dudes, I have never, to my knowledge, killed babies. Also one of our favorite family expressions of over the top whackitude is "Dick Cheney on a duck hunt! Blam!" But please, point to a pro or anti war post in this thing? (oh heck, there probably is one of each somewhere and now I'll get an email pointing that out ever so nicely) I just told the story as I knew it and left the judgments alone.

Anyway, because this blog is one of a billion and maybe because there isn't really a genre for it (hands up all bloggers whose spouses have gone missing in Iraq! {I will almost certainly get an email now pointing me at such a blog, in which case - yes, please do!}), and just maybe because writing vitriolic hate comments in this situation just might make even the leathery hide of the common internet troll feel a wee bit sensitive, I didn't get nasty comments.

I did get emails - plenty of them - but thoughtful, polite and generally correctly spelled emails. Often disagreeing or trying to kindly point out where I was Ruining My Children's Lives (to which I have to say, I know! Isn't that cool?). Even more often they are interesting and funny and make a connection I would never otherwise have made. I love that - I love that I have friends all over the place who staggered in here because they saw a thing that linked to another thing that produced a thought that somehow ended up at this tiny corner of the internet.

All of which faffing about gets away from that first point way up there about where I was when I started this. It was all about Kirk, see, about his story (ignoring that it was, naturally, our story) and who he was and how he got to that road in Iraq. I wanted to shove him into the light while keeping firmly in the wings myself. Which was why I ended up with the grammatically incorrect and slightly bizarre signature, "For Kirk." It wasn't who I was, it was why I was writing but at that time... well, that felt very much like who I was as well.

So, like a lot of things in my life I'm afraid, I am far behind in doing something about this and moving past it. But it's Thursday, and Thursday just seems like as good a day as any to make a small change.

I still write here For Kirk, but also for the Children, and most of all for me.



wheelsonthebus said...

You write for him because you are raising his kids and telling their story. Even if you are writing about other things, I always feel like each post is telling him about your lives.

Pam said...

And good for you!

You are a woman standing firmly in her own truth and not afraid to share it with the rest of us lucky enough to have stumbled onto your piece of the web.

Anonymous said...

You are strong, one of the best in the universe that chooses to be strong. Thee best, simply put and your children will agree too for coming out of a shell is difficult but it is a time you when over come your grief. Keep hoping, believing, never forget him. I am happy you wrote all this, that I met your kids who are my friends and that I can talk to you on the weird occasion. Keep writing for your husband. YOU ARE AWESOME! -Cadet

Mujja said...

I always think that when someone has gone through the sort of tragedy that you have endured that they are like a tree that has been struck by lightening. The largest portion of the tree is dead and scarred terribly..but there remains a small part that is alive and still has leaves and continues to grow. The dead bit never goes of course ... but the live bit spreads and gradually flourishes until slowly the living bit is a greater percentage of the tree than the dead part. It seems to me that this blog helps your live bit of tree to grow and flourish. I hope it continues to do so.

Anonymous said...

I do believe you are one of the toughest, bravest women I have ever met. When Kirk first went missing I was so worried for all of you, but you have made the best of it and triumphed over all of it, albeit with great sadness. As I read this I felt very proud to know you and yours...come back to the Bluegrass someday.

Pam said...

Mujja! That is the most beautiful analogy I've ever heard for not only surviving adversity but flourishing over time as well in spite of such! Love that!

child 2 said...

emotional strength is not always a good thing. sometimes it turns into bitterness.