At our parish this week we have had a visiting priest who has been running a "Mission" for our church. It has been so uplifting, one minute you are laughing and then next you are crying - it really stops and makes you think about where you have come from and where you want to go.
Today/tonight is the last session - I'm feeling really sad about that.
I decided to make mass this morning as I've been busy the other mornings. So off I went and listened to father read a letter that an american soldier had written after the Vietnam War.
The soldier was wounded and was spending time in hospital. He wrote a letter to his mum and dad back home in Wisconsin. In the letter he wrote that he was in hospital and that he would be coming home soon. He had a favour to ask of his mum and dad. He wanted to know if it would be ok for him to bring his best friend back home with him. He had spent some time whilst in hospital getting to know this friend, he had no family and he thought it would be nice for him to come back home. The son went on to explain that his friend had lost half of his leg, lost an arm and his face was very badly disfigured.
The soldier's parents wrote a letter back to him saying that it would be impossible for them at their age and with their terrible health to take on this responsibility, they could understand what it meant to him to bring him home too, but it just wasnt going to work.
2 weeks later the parents had a knock at the door - the person told them that they had some terrible news. Their son was dead. His body was brought back home. The parents were to arrive at the army barracks to view the body. When they saw their son - there before them they saw their son - missing half of his leg, only one arm and a disfigured face.
It was their son who had the terrible injuries. Their son who couldn't come to terms with his injuries. If he had only told his parents the truth - that it was he who needed to come home in the state he was. It was now too late.
(I just sat in the church and started to cry - such a sad story. )
Life is too short, too precious.
Just had to share this story as I was moved by it.