"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Friday, December 3, 2010

His Name was Doug

and I knew 
he loved me.
Bigger than life,
a man’s man,
and so at home 

in his skin.
His legs bowed

just a little,
so he had
a sexy swagger
when he walked.
Ornery as cat dirt
mostly, his
non-filtered Camels
tucked in a pocket, 

or rolled up
in the sleeve 
of a T-shirt,
tanned elbow

out the side window
of a titty-pink & white 

‘57 Chevy
cruising with me, 

and I knew 
he loved me.
He could cuss 

and fight
with the best, 

a man’s man
so at home 

in his skin,
enough so 

to be gentle 
with me
running his fingers 

through my hair
as I sat on the floor
between those 

bowed legs
watching TV together,
and I knew 

he loved me.
Then Uncle Sam 

asked for his help
in Vietnam.
He needed medics. 

Pre-med at college,
he never thought 

to question.
The town sheriff 

was Dad and
Dad taught him
that a man 

does what’s right.
His name was Doug

and he was bigger 
than life,
a man’s man, 

easy in his skin,
ornery yet gentle,
and I knew 

even my name 
was safe 
in his mouth

he loved me.
Oh God,

how I loved 
him, too ...

[by CJ Kempf Heck] 

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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  1. Wow CJ very loving and intense.

  2. Thank you, Gabby. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  3. Facebook Page Comments:

    Jan Hoffman
    ‎( ~ tears ~ ) What a Beautiful Tribute to a Wonderful Man.

    CJ Heck
    thank you, Jan ... I'm trying to get more vets to open up and, to do that, it seems I have to share first. It seems to bring out their memories and that's good.

    David Westfall
    Very nice, CJ.

    CJ Heck
    Thanks, David.

    Sandy Unger
    cj, I love reading what you write. This was a great story. It"s sad the things we go through in our lifetime, but I guess this is called life ...

    CJ Heck
    Yes, that's life all right -- thank you, Sandy. Please give John my best, will you?

    Gabby Streck
    Very nice piece CJ!

    CJ Heck
    thank you, Ma'am

    Margie Shelly
    so true and I remember that day so well

    Cindy K. Cosmar
    Very nice!

    CJ Heck
    Thank you Cindy and Margie ... Margie? Margie! How are you?

    Annie O'Brien
    Hi Cathy.
    I'm sure he loved you very much. Life can change direction when you least want it to and when you are least ready.

    CJ Heck
    Thank you, Anne.

  4. Facebook Page Comments:

    Angie Caldwell
    Thanks once again for sharing such heartfelt thoughts....♥

    CJ Heck
    Thank you, Angie. What a nice thing to hear.

  5. CJ, what a lovely way to honour your husband and the many other brave men and women who gave up their own lives to free others. We need to remember Vietnam and everyone's lives who were touched by that war. Visiting from LinkedIn.

  6. Hello Kathryn,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. If you know of any Vietnam veterans, please pass along the link. Thanks again.
    My warmest regards,


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