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Wirhstanding Time
January 24 2010

The younger girl looked over at her aunt. "Why did you not cry; when you said goodbye. I don't understand, you had a smile on your face." As the older woman started the station wagon she looked over at the concerned 14 year old. After all, he was her favorite uncle, and she would miss him terribly, as they all would. "He is going to another country, far away to fight a war. A war we did not start, but that we are involved in. If by chance, and I pray it never does, something happens to him, the last thing I want him to see or remember about me, is my smile. Not my tears.
The girl watched as the plane lifted off of the ground and watched a tear fall from her aunts eyes. Not saying anything, she sat silently as it soared out of site.

She rises before dawn and sits down to a cup of coffee, pen and paper. Beside her sits a box holding pictures, and several dozen cookies. In the middle of the table is a 5x7 picture of a man in an Air Force Uniform. He has silky black hair and a smile to die for. His eyes seem to be looking straight into her soul. She begins her letter with,

"Hi Honey, Bobby's first tooth cut thru. Tommy got decked at school because he was taking up for little Megan. She wanted to join the so-called 'brotherhood' of the second grade and the other boys wouldn't let her. Naturally, you know Tommy. He just had to take up for his little Meggie, and ended up with a black eye. The other boy is much worse tho. Guess he takes after your brother. Megan finally got to go inside the treehouse they built, but wasn't that impressed after all. Oh and your mom came by yesterday with all these cookies. I put in a special something for you, along with the latest pictures. There are lots of cookies so you can share with others. Your mom stubbed her big toe, but she said it didn't hurt nearly as bad as it did when she broke it chasing you down with a fly-swatter. Well, honey, I miss you, and love you. It's time to get the kids up and off to school. Don't fret none, I have a long list of honey-do's waiting for you, so hurry home. All my love, Meg.

She is a service mans wife. There are kids to get to school on time, wash to be done, beds to be made. Her neighbor has invited her to a coupon cutting party this afternoon. She also is a service wife. They hold their heads up high, bake cookies, and they know they can count on each other, day or night, night or day. They have tied yellow ribbons on all the trees in the neighbor hood, but no one seems to mind. A picnic is held each Sunday afternoon. Not all the people are in the service, but they all come together, helping those, giving support for those whose husbands and wives are off fighting for our rights, our freedom, and our homes. A parade is planned for the day that the service men and women come home. Paper has been shredded and is stored. One lady presented a box of pictures from last Friday nights football game.

One by one they get to come home. Some aren't so lucky, they don't get to walk off of the plane. But there are still people there to meet them. As he walks off the plane, she smiles. Runs to meet him and the girl now 15, hears him say, 'when I closed my eyes, or when I was scared, all I had to do was imagine that beautiful smile. The girl now understood, that love withstands times of all kinds. Together, yet miles apart, they had fought together with love as their weapons against time.

The 15 year old girl is now 57. Thru out time she has learned and remembered that day and those words. That love, real love withstands time. Yellow ribbons, flags waving from front porches, signs that say 'we love you' are all the thing that America is really about. This 57 year old woman is proud to have been the neice that heard and saw that day. She is proud to be An American, regardless of what anyone says about us. Hopefully, there are plenty of others out there who know exactly what I am saying. America, stand tall, because we can withstand the times. WE ARE AMERICA.

(c) A. J. Angerstein 01-24-10
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