April 3, 2012 Memoirs with Jeremy
Forgiveness is a powerful decision to make in one’s life. To pardon someone for an injustice against yourself in one thing; pardoning from an injustice regarding your children is a totally different realm and a very significant dimension. There was an adage at one time that was “to forgive is to forget”, I admittedly, have not grasped the concept of that with the exception of my children.
I can forgive my children anything. My love is so strong and pure for them and is absolutely unconditional. But, an “outsider” if you will, causes me to be more on the defense; I might truly forgive them and go on being friends, but I never truly forget a true injustice. Not that I cling to that, but I have always found if someone will abuse you then usually that is in the personality trait and they will get to it again one day. I am not speaking of misunderstandings, or cross words. I am speaking of things much harsher and to forgive and move from. The Bible says we are to forgive as much as seventy times seven.
I believe this refers to issues that we deal with; forgive and move onto and then somehow they seem to surface again. Maybe same issue but different circumstances or perhaps tucked way back in your subconscious and then bam something triggers this issue and you go through the routine of forgiving that injustice again. I have had this happen throughout my lifetime and on a more personal note it usually was in conjunction to relationships, significant others.
I will also have to confess that there have been a few times that my children have not just stepped on my toes, but on my heart. I have always been quick to forgive and love them unconditionally, but there are some things that just never go away. When that specific incident raises its head for whatever the reason; I am quick to forgive again. I will continue to forgive them because I choose to do so and as times goes on these become vaguer. We as a family were by no means perfect, but love and forgiveness and honesty are and have been always top priority. Put your cards on the table, discuss it, play your hand agree to disagree if we must, but always forgive and move on. We have always departed one from the other with I love you and hugs; even leaving the house to go to the store.
I choose to forgive my country for the injustice that was done to my son. I choose to forgive the young men who pushed the button to the drone. I choose to not only forgive them but sense the agony in their hearts that such a tragedy was instigated by mere seconds and faulty communication. I choose to forgive because they were doing their jobs just as my son was doing his.
It is a straight up tragedy for everyone one of us, especially our sons. But the domino effect that it has on families is so life changing that to some degree each one of us died partially with them; especially the parents. I feel as though half of me is truly gone. My daughter’s loss is so tragic and I feel so helpless in trying to help her and we are careful and cautious with each other’s grief and triggers. It is undoubtedly life changing.
However; with that said, to hang onto bitterness, injustices and not forgive is another load and tragic emotion that has to be carried with the real tragedy, my son will not come home again. Although I choose to forgive out of love; I also forgive so that I can be stronger as well. It was simply a very tragic mistake and it is hard to swallow. The bigger picture is that everyone were doing their jobs; my son loved being a Marine and protecting his country and family. He learned so much from the Marines and they assisted him in being a man’s man. He truly loved serving his country. I would never ask him to change that because that his who he is and was.
Love and forgiveness go hand and hand. You can’t do one without the other. There is already enough heartache losing Jeremy for a lifetime. I don’t want to dish more heartache to those who were trying to do their jobs and because of vague communication these men who serve our country will have this to carry for the rest of their lives. I choose to love and forgive them and pray that it truly doesn’t haunt them for a lifetime.
I wish it weren’t so, but it is. And as Jeremy has impressed on me many times; there is no changing it Mom. I can’t say I have a grasp on destinations, because I know we have choices in life. Jeremy made his choice and he knew in his heart what his choice would cost him, but I also know if his unit had not made it home that would have been a burden and tragedy that my son could never let go of. So, I am very proud of him for his strength, courage and wisdom and I am happy for those we got to return to their families.
I am very sad that my son and his medic did not; but I will constantly forgive that mistake and reach out in love. I choose love and to forgive them, but I also choose to do so for me. I also know that Jeremy loved his fellow Marines and military and I chose to forgive and love for him as well.
In love, forgiveness, acceptance and deep understanding,
Proud Mom of Ssgt. Jeremy D. Smith, USMC, 03-09-85 – 04-06-11
Following is one of the last pictures taken of my son before his transition in Afghanistan. It is so heartbreaking and yet when I see how happy he truly is it puts a little salve on my aching heart.
He was a man’s man, a fierce Marine, true to himself and others with a heart of gold and a smile that always lighted the room he was in. When he showed up anywhere everyone gravitated and pivoted towards him. He is so full of life you just couldn’t get enough of what he projected and shared: