By Charles Corley, Jr.

VA Medical Center — Hines, IL


We have come together because there is no easy

way. We are searching step-by-step for a way and a

language: a way to see ourselves clearly and a language

to give and receive the love that is hidden

somewhere in each of us.

There are everywhere, blind streets and dead end

alleys, but together we are building an open road.

Bad choices do not account for failures, but only for

mistakes; and the only mistakes which count permanently

are not so much errors, as our willingness to

be defeated by them. The most pitiful thing is a man

or woman who thinks he or she has nothing more

to learn. For although there is not a man or woman

exempt from guilt or dishonesty, there are some who

love their guilt and dishonesty.

Warriors, this house is only brief shelter along

the way. My brothers and sisters can only extend a

hand and I am only a possibility. For what we are,

we have chosen to be; and because we choose, we

are responsible. So long as we only wait for something

to happen, time will be a thief and hope a crook.

Remember warriors, there is only one kind of magic and that is doing! ■


Writing Aide: Scott Buckley

Typist: Pat Kranzow

What Color is it, Ma?

By Kay Baluta

VA Medical Center — Wilkes-Barre, PA


I didn’t know he was dying as I held him in my arms.

His eyes were closed and he repeated over and over, “Ma,

what color it is?” Not knowing what he meant I simply

replied, “I don’t know Mike. I don’t know.” He opened his

eyes and they rolled to the back of his head. My son Mike

had died in my arms.

To this day, those mystifying words ring in my ears.

Was the light leading him to heaven or was it God himself

coming to take my boy home?

Mike left this earth after his wife left him for her boss,

a psychiatrist. She was also one of his patients and suffered

from extreme anxiety. Then, Mike overdosed on

the pain medication he was taking for a herniated disc.

He also drank and drank himself to death. He gave up; he

just couldn’t cope. Ironically, his ex-wife died the same

way with a broken heart at the same age Mike was when

he died. Now they are together forever soaring in the

heavenly skies.

Mike’s death broke my heart and I sigh with every

breath. Although, it won’t be long until I see my precious

son again. At the age of 90, I’m on my way out. I only hope

Mike hears me when I call his name so we can meet, allowing

our souls to float together in the heavenly skies. ■


Typist: Amie Dorney