We met a man yesterday at the desert wild life reserve. He was driving an old pick-up truck in pretty good condition and had his dog with him. He drove up the dirt road and in about 10 minutes returned. He parked and got out. A humped back with a rolling gait to look at the visitors kiosk. Sweetie was there and greeted the older man. I say older but he probably was out age. They chatted and I said my hellos. He was lonely and Sweetie sensed it. The day was warm and still. The air was quiet and scented with the last of summer.
I could hear them speak even though I had wondered off a few yards. The man was mostly wanting to not see me….He had lost his wife 7 years ago, his love his soulmate to cancer and I think it was painful to see us together.
He had not been on a vacation for 7 years. I can tell he was in mourning all this time. He said his camper trailer sat for these seven years, and when he decided to go for a trip he discovered his trailer was destroyed by mice. So he bought a new one. It may have been a good thing since his wife’s presence would have been with him this trip.
His life was one of survival and epic as anything in a novel.
His family had escaped from Hungary in 1956. His father, mother and older sister left in the night and joined a group of 200 people to escape to Austria. When they had arrived only 80 remained his family was still together although his father was wounded in the leg by Soviet guns. He this child had narrowly missed being shot as he was slow hitting the ground and felt the bullet fly by his head.
Once they had escaped they came to the USA. As a young man he was sent to Viet Nam. He was a POW and his body was tortured and he was damaged for life from his ordeal. His humped back was the testament of his survival and service to his country.
While listening to his stories I was thinking about Sweeties’s stories.
Both men are remarkable and no one will know their stories.
The Man was concerned about his dog in the truck even though it was not a hot day but still a vehicle can warm up. He then told us the story of his new sweetheart. His dog was rescued from dog fighters and was slated to be killed at the shelter that day. She is a brown pit bull. Medium built and having know pit bulls well built. She was gentle and loyal and grateful to her new person. He was devoted to his new sweetheart. She was shy but I could see she would die for him. He gave her water and took her for a walk as we were getting ready to leave.
Q gave him his card and said to call and we can have coffee and sweets and chat before he goes back to to his tour of New England.
Q was and is always sincere when he makes the offer for tea air coffee…..people here in the US do not understand people from different countries. Americans are not sincere in their offer of hospitality…..being from immigrant stock myself I know this. My offers are sincere. I know when others are just saying ya’ll come back with its hollow silent please don’t unsaid.
I heard so many stories yesterday, and Q has told me so many. I also have mine. We are different from all the several generations born Americans. We know what it is like to be shunned and ignored. Q especially. So while he chatted with the Man. I observed the drying blueberries on the stems while listening to the Man’s stories. Feeling the sadness of his loss but also feeling a bit better inside that this humped back man with an odd gait had his love, his soulmate for 33 years at least, and now he has saved this new love from death and misery. I also feel calm inside knowing I have the ability to welcome him and his dog to my home.