and have to get it off my chest.
See, it smells there.
It smells like sickness and suffering... it smells like slow death.
The VA hospital is not a place of healing- it's a place for soldiers (and sailors, Marines and airmen) to go to die.
It's a nursing home for terminal cases. Some of us just take longer than others.
Going there makes me feel sick and sad and unworthy.
The clink of the gas cylinder, the rasp of the lungs it supports; the shuffling click of the walker or cane... they are reminders of stoic suffering. Little snips of stories far more horrific than mine, riffs of ballads far more heroic.
All of these heroes, come to this dismal place to die.
Some have family there to help them, friends to prop them up. Some have nothing left but pride in comrades long dead.
I lament the multitudes that are yet to come- those yet to join our ranks. Yet to contribute to the miasma of broken hearts and minds, broken bodies and spirits. Those yet to rage and weep in frustration and pain- but never at the hospital.
There, we bear it stoically.
Because whether we acknowledge it or not, we're all there to die.