My friend, Ginny Luther, is amazing. She has devoted herself to showing parents the way to discipline with love, understanding and respect. I, myself, don't think discipline is the right term, it's a form of loving guidance. Understand- it doesnt mean there are no consequences, there are. What she teaches us enables us to lovingly guide, grow with and absolutely delight in our children. She gives herself wholly, completely, and with out reservation to enable others to walk a peaceful path. I walk this path with my son, (yes I stray sometimes, we all do) He is 6. I can see the greatness in him, the heart, the empathy, the strength, already. All because Ginny taught me that what was in my heart made more sense than conventional wisdom.
She discovered these things while searching for a way to guide her young son, Bart. He grew into the kind of man you want your own son to be, a man of his word, a man of great strength and character, a man who knows love, a soldier who wanted nothing more than the world to know the freedom and joy that he lived. Who wanted nothing more than to come home and marry the love of his life.
A while back, Ginny thought she was home free, her son Bart had returned from deployment in Iraq. Phew. He was home, safe. She was to be one of the lucky ones. He was in Fort Hood Texas.
Then one day two uniformed men came to her door, ushering her into a hell like no other. The hell where your beautiful, true, love of your life little boy turned man-warrior has been taken from you, senselessly.
As I know the story, he was alerted that the MP's were going to the home of one of his men, cause? suspected stolen army property. Bart, as his mother does, took it upon himself to give this man, this human, a safe place, a safe path to reconsider his error. The man, the human, shot Bart. 5 times. In the head. Murdered Bart. And then killed himself.
Ginny is bringing herself out of this hell by doing something in typical loving Ginny fashion. She discovered in her rages against the pointless injustice of it, that of all the people and entities she was angry with, the killer wasnt one of them. Her husband pointed it out to her, that she never mentioned the killer as a target for blame. Ginny took this, pondered it, and discovered that she realized this man, this killer of her sweet son, didnt have the tools she teaches, he had no way to deal with the insane amounts of stress, anger and fear, that these people (who often are no more than children themselves) are living with. These soldiers, male and female, who put themselves out there at the request of the country, to fight, defend, and protect us. We are failing them. Go fight we say, and when they come home, we offer no support for the nightmare they most probably lived. The fighting changes people, in an extremely profound way. We can no longer pretend it doesn't.
Ginny is spearheading a movement called "Go Big or Go Home" words that her son Bart lived by. She wants to take what she knows (and its a lot) & teach military familes how to begin to deal with the myriad conflicting emotions, how to channel them, how to not get caught up in a cycle of hatred, paranoia and violence. She wants to prevent another mother, another family from a visit to that hell. And she can.
the title to this post is a link to her sons memorial site, go there, do it now. help her Go Big or Go Home
I am so grateful for all I have learned from Ginny, for trusting my heart, for my beautiful Son, and for the man he will grow to be, I know he will be as Bart was. and thats a lot to be grateful for.