This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only.
Last Monday my husband missed a communication time with me. He was to be on instant messenger at my lunch hour, his night. But he did not show up. Tuesday, still nothing. No email, no sign of him online.
I looked every day at www.icasualties.org and I saw that there were casualties listed in the Baghdad area. I guessed that he could not talk because some one in his division had been killed. I waited.
I went to work, but my heart was closed to my clients, my co-workers, my friends. I went through each day, waiting, waiting, hoping I would hear from him and not them.
People sometimes tell me that they will pray for my husband, and I am always grateful, but I wonder about that. Do they think that the mothers and fathers, the husbands, wives and children of the 2,238 American soldiers who have died as of today were not praying? They were, I know it. I also know, no matter what George Bush says about his communications with God, this death and destruction is not the will of God. For God has clearly told us, "Thou shall not kill." This is the will of humans, and as such, it is the will of humans that will bring it to an end.
Online I read the newly dead of the 4th Infantry Division. One of them is just a few years older than him, and one just a baby.
As always, I thank all who are working to end this war for everything you do. For anyone waiting for the right time, the right leader, the right something, or just waiting, I ask Tracy Chapman’s question: "if not now, then when, if not today, then why make your promises, a love declared for days to come is as good as none." What will it take, what number will be too many, what level of destruction will be too much?
I got an email from my husband yesterday afternoon, and talked to him on the phone last night. By then, the casualties were listed. Other families destroyed, not mine, not now. He did not tell me why he could not call or email, and I did not tell him that I knew. Today, I pray for the families of those who are starting their journey as gold star families, my heart is broken for them. I beg you again to do everything you can to bring this to an end.
TAMMARA ROSENLEAF is a member of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Helena Peace Seekers, Just Don’t Go and the Prairie Chapel 12. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org