The Red Badge of Courage

Hmmm, I recently learned that my sweet husband doesn’t read my blog, he just looks at the pictures…  So here I am in Utah with my little “school” computer.  The only photos available are family history related… I wonder….  That’s really just fine, because he has to live with me and listen to all of my musings each day…

David and I drove to Utah yesterday – it is about 13 hours to my parents’ home in Payson.  We arrived 45 minutes ahead of schedule due to dry roads and weather so cold that we didn’t even exercise at the rest areas.  (But hey – how about those gas prices!!)  There is a good-size pile of school work for David to do each day, and a car trip was not an excuse to skip school – so we listened to his American Literature book, The Red Badge of Courage.  We had been working together on this over the past couple of weeks.  He was having a hard time getting into the story.  I hadn’t read it before, and had to agree that it was not exactly captivating…  so I agreed to read it aloud.  That was kind of a drag for me… so we agreed that on the way to Utah we would listen to it and he would follow along, stopping after each chapter to record a summary.

Two of my soldiers

The Red Badge of Courage is narrated by a talented reader who did a much better job with the southern drawl than I had accomplished.  We both enjoyed the story after all.  A young boy is excited to join the army and fight in the Civil War.  The battle of Chancellorville is the setting.  In a nutshell, the boy wonders how he will handle the battle… will he be brave enough to stay and fight?  An initial burst of excitement in fighting is followed by an cowardly retreat, and then another act of cowardice as he runs from a dying man.  His excuses run out and he begins to feel shame… wishing for a “red badge of courage” – a wound that will prove his bravery.  He gets his wish and is grazed by a bullet in the head.  His regiment greets him with respect rather than the derision he expected, and he goes on to perform acts of bravery.  He is commended by the officers, but he still battles with his initial cowardice…

Photos were always a
traumatic time.  Usually
both sets of eyes were red.

Much of the book focuses on his anticipation of what is to come; scared of the unknown and not knowing how he will handle it.  This is followed by much self-evaluation and he responds to people and circumstances which he encounters.  I drove along with my own thoughts of battles.  As I drove, I found my thoughts/words to be quite eloquent and I wanted to share them.  Tonight I am preparing for bed with thoughts of our own upcoming battle and I am not feeling quite so talented with my words as I felt yesterday… oh well, I will try to remember…

Life was so simple…

Life is so full of battles!  On Monday afternoon, while I should have been packing, I indulged myself in a nice long visit with a friend instead.  We discussed life and its challenges.  I am aware of many of her challenges, and she is aware of many of mine… alright, anyone reading this is aware of our ongoing war and current battle with cancer.  I want to say this… discussing them does not make me discouraged.  Not at all.  Like a soldier facing a formidable enemy, I am pumped and ready – and I want my friend to feel like I do… that we CAN face these things.  We MUST face them with courage.  As we spoke I saw again the big picture… that life here on earth is full of challenges, but overcoming them can bring us strength and joy.  At the end of this life, I want to look back and know that I did my best.
If I say this on every blog post… I cannot say it enough…  There is a God in Heaven, and we are his children.  He will NOT leave us alone.  He loves us and wants to help us.  He also wants us to make our own choices, and would not force himself upon us. He wants us to turn to him and ask. He wants to be part of our lives and get us through these rough times.
If you are reading this, you have probably read my other posts.  You will know that I am a seasoned veteran of the Battle of Childhood Cancer.  I know it feels to pray and receive help.  I know how it feels to have friends, neighbors, coworkers, friends I haven’t seen in 30 years and people that I have never met pray for our family.  I often describe to others as a prayer bubble in which I feel peace and strength.  It is so humbling, and I am so deeply grateful.

Soldiers should not go into battle unprepared.  They learn and they train, even during times of peace.  To be close to our Lord we need to also learn and train, even in times of peace.  Learn to be like him and train to know how to call upon him.
We (our family) will face tomorrow’s surgery with faith.  We pray for Greg’s recovery, but also his spiritual strength and well being.  We pray for his surgeon and oncologist.  The surgery is one step, followed by the stress of waiting for the tumor to be analyzed and staged… then we will know what the chemo situation will be.
We march to battle praying to face the enemy with courage.
Remember, times may be hard, but they do not have to be bad…

Mark and his brother, Danny

…now to find a few pictures for Mark…

Alright, I just have to explain that I found a few young “brother” photos.  Since I have been using this blog as a sort of journal supplement during times that I rarely write in my bedside journal, I will explain.  Today David and I met Greg, Nathan and Jackie on campus and then went to  gather with my parents in the little house in Provo where Mark and I lived as students.  (My mother-in-law still owns it.)  The boys played together as very young boys here, and today I was privileged to sit and listen as Nathan prayed so beautifully in behalf of Greg.  Afterward they embraced and I experienced every emotion that a mother is entitled to feel.  How could I not feel joy?

One thought on “The Red Badge of Courage

  1. Know that others stand with courage along your side, as we fight life' battles. Yes, we have the choice to fight alone or fight with Heavenly help. I love your choice, I know He cares and will be there. Thanks for sharing courage and we rejoice in Him.


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