By Anna Von Reitz
Very often and very obviously people think that my life is or has been easy. They imagine that I have not suffered, have not fallen on my nose, haven’t gone without anything, have somehow gotten through unscathed and with plenty to spare. Even those closest to me believe this about me.
How, my youngest Son asked me, could I have such a sunny disposition and laugh so often in spite of so many wrongs?
It’s my revenge, I tell him. I am really just a callous old warrior who decided to laugh, by force of will.
You might as well.
Jim and I both started our lives as mathematicians. Both our minds are wired that way. The “Government” ruined my career by stealing and suppressing my work, but they hurt him more. Him, they dragged out into the jungles and around the world, and used his skills as a cryptographer in the Belly of the Whale, a fate no mortal should have to endure.
We met and fell in love and everything was beautiful. He healed. It was magic. His career in fine art burgeoned. We had a beautiful home that suited us and a fine income and we were in love.
And then a wildfire took our home and an unexpected pregnancy turned our quiet lives as early retirees upside down. With our next youngest pushing twenty, Jim was going to be. Father again— in the midst of the wildfire wreckage at the age of 55.
God bless him, he didn’t even flinch.
He got me into a safe new home and got me through the childbirth, but then he collapsed, exhausted, spent, and haunted by his demons, isolated, plagued by PTSD, and quietly drinking himself to death.
I was left “alone” as many military wives have been left alone to hold the fort, with a small babe, no money, and a life to rebuild—somehow— for us all.
Just when it seemed I must give up, when it seemed that there was no hope at all, I simply didn’t have the physical strength or skills needed or will to carry on—- a man appeared. He came out of nowhere I knew, out of Jim’s past, not mine.
He took the situation in at a glance and he shouldered all of it, everything I couldn’t do. He did it all gently and patiently and without complaint. And I knew that he loved me and my small son and even loved Jim. Everything he did was for love. And then he left, like all such heroes do, like Shane he left me and “little Joey” and rode out into the heart of the great glowing West.
I thought I’d break in two. I wondered how I’d go on. But the fact is that he’d made me stronger. He had lifted me up, put me back on my feet, given me what I needed to go on, and so I did.
I always knew he loved me and God knows, I loved him, loved him for his kindness to me and mine, and everything he did for us, and everything he was. Everything he taught me. All the little things that mean everything.
But you see, he and I are actually quite alike, both Devotees of an Ancient Warrior Code, both bound to Absolutes. He could never speak of love to me, and if he did, I could never hear it—- even though we both knew the Truth and honored it in our silence.
Tonight he came to me out of the blue and held me in his arms and said the words, all the words that stood in the silence between us all those years ago and he wept like a child. We clung to each other like two castaways clinging to a life raft and I wept, too.
I always knew, but it is different when you say it.
The Truth is still the Truth. Love, once it exists, is Love. And ours has been a Grande Passion, worthy of renown, honorable and true to the core, never violated, pure.
Moses ain’t got nothing on me. I, too, have led my People through the Wilderness for forty years. I, too, have told Pharaoh to let them go. And now, here I am, on my mountaintop, “dying” in sight of my Promised Land. Too old to go there anymore. The journey spent.
But unlike Moses, I didn’t gainsay God. No, I am just sitting here all alone staring into the mysteries of life and love and what we all go through. What strange crucifixions we each endure.
And all of this in plain view of the fact that I still love Jim as deeply and well as I always have, on top of, in addition to, in spite of the All of it.
Lord, grant me the serenity....
To all of you who think my life has been easy, that I somehow bounced through it unscathed—-think again. It isn’t easy to live in this world. It isn’t easy now, and it never has been. The best we can do is to honor what is True and to love each other truly and faithfully and to the best of our ability, as much as we can, while we can.
His tears are still wet on my shoulder. The immortal words in my ears, echoing in my heart. And tomorrow we both know that we will both get up and go on and do our best in our separate lives and the days and years and certainly the miles will stretch between us as he leaves and goes where only my love can follow.
A part of me has been with him through all these many years. He gave it back to me, tonight— not because he didn’t need it himself, but because he knew I needed it more. Gallant every step and to the bitter end.
Never, ever, for one moment imagine that this is “easy” for either one of us. Our hearts have been broken and crushed and blown away in the wind and have gone to places we don’t even know of. Yet, here we stand, at our respective duty stations.
And my Son wonders how I can laugh, when this is just (1) one of the inexplicable “lessons” of my life, and still, I tell him to laugh and keep on laughing.
Remember Sarah, she who laughs. Remember Mary hunched over at the foot of the Cross.
Who can gainsay God? What is, is. I have never yet loved anyone or anything —and that love has not ultimately returned to me, full tide, and overflowing. Like my words, they do not go out and come back empty, either.
All the wisdom of men may crumble to the dust, all that can never be repaid, all those who can never be together, all those who weep, all those who yearn for peace and love and happiness, all those who stand alone, all those in any need at all, take heart the more impossible everything seems, for what is impossible to us, is not impossible to God.
Behold the Truth, that our God makes all things new, and all things possible, and all things right in the end— and then, you can afford to laugh.
There is a reason that I have been fated to love two great men and a reason they both love me. We just don’t know, in our present condition, what the reason is— and within the limitations set by our own Code of Honor, we have to bear it for what it is, and let it be, the same way that the sun shines and the rain falls. Apparently, forever.
This is my cross, and theirs, too.
Now tell me again, how “easy” my life has been? How I am so blissfully unscathed and out of touch with the full range of feeling and misery?
When I have lived every day of my life literally torn apart for decades?
And still soldiered on and still loved my husband, and still kept my family together and still paid our bills and still unraveled the evils of our broken “government” and still took the time and made the effort to defend and teach everyone else who would listen.
So you are living in a dump? I lived in a shell made of raw timber, insulated with cardboard. So you are alone, burdened down, scared? I sat in the ashes with a sick baby and a husband who was so lost in his own misery, he didn’t even talk—just stared into space and drank for five years.
Think I haven’t been there?
Nobody gets by without their share of sheer misery and want and terror. Nobody gets by without guilt and pain and sheer bewilderment. One way or another we all get stuck asking, “Why?” to questions we can’t answer.
So just know that for sure and know that you aren’t alone and accept it and don’t whine or feel sorry for yourself. We are all here to learn and there are some terribly hard lessons— but through it all, we are meant to grow wise and fearless and joyful.
Through it all, we are meant to overcome.
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