I must have been about 14 years old.
My older brother, Bob, was in Vietnam, and we were counting the days until he’d be home again. I adored my brother, and I missed him terribly. Yup, that’s me over there on the right, sitting on Bob’s lap. Of course, back then he was Bobby and I was Chrissy…yikes!
His homecoming was still about 8 months away. I decided to write a song for Bob. It was called 240 Days – yes, I know, not very creative. I stuck a tape player on my piano and recorded myself singing this masterpiece. The only words I can remember are:
In two-forty days I’m going to change my ways
Just two hundred forty days
Be kind – I was just a kid.
I sent the tape to my brother. Although he said he liked it, I think he was grateful I didn’t do any follow up versions. I mean, can you imagine “In eighty-one days I’m going to come through the haze”…well, you get the picture.
My brother DID come home, but he was a changed man. The boy who had played endless games of Chutes & Ladders with me, who had told me that horrific haircut I had gotten looked great, who had stood up for me as a kid – he was gone. One can never understand the journey a soldier takes unless one has walked those same steps. But, thankfully, Bob HAD come home.
Today I’m thinking of all the men and women who have given their lives on behalf of our country. To all the family mambers and friends whose hearts are hurting…especially the little sisters whose older brothers never came home…you are in my prayers this Memorial Day.
With gratitude, Chris