God Bless America

I wrote this poem August 3, 2012, while my husband José was deployed in Afghanistan (his second deployment). At this time, our daughter Mia was 19 months old and her little sister Lizzie was 6 weeks old. I had a big, supportive group of mother friends in community around me, but no family, and I was parenting alone at home til he came home in December.

I saw in my Facebook memories the other day that my phone fell underneath the bed, so I took pictures of my cute little baby girls on my computer, because there was just no way I had the energy to get under the bed to retrieve it.

screenshot from Facebook. Two baby girls with cloth diapers laying on Mommy

For years I have been saying, “No one hates Army life more than an Army wife!” and I think this poem illustrates that real well. I was angry, so angry at the Army.

6 years of PTSD later and I am still angry. I can’t be too angry though because if not for the VA my husband would have to work and I wouldn’t have been able to delusionally pursue a plethora of dreams, so at least there’s that, right?

What I realized at this time though more than ever before was how very costly freedom is, for every person in every country everywhere on Earth. Freedom is never free. And maybe that’s why swings have chains.

Only as high as I reach can I grow.
Only as far as I seek can I go.
Only as deep as I look can I see.
Only as much as I dream can I be.
-Karen Ravn

I love this quote, but it is a lie. A lie we are telling our children every day. A lie that is turning our society into a land of hopeless dreamers. Perpetuating the stereotypes of millennials and gen Yers as entitled whiners.

When I was younger I loved 4-H with a deep, abiding passion, but I hated the part of our creed where we recited “The sky’s the limit.” Why did the sky have to be the limit? Why did there have to be a limit at all? I wanted to live bigger, and dream more. So I rejected the idea of limits and set myself up for a decade of disappointment as a megalomaniac.

In my 30s I am finally wizening up to the fact that there have always been limits, and there will always be limits. The world in which we live is a limited one, and we cannot dream that away. Swings have chains for a reason.

God Bless America

Freedom isn’t Free
by any road you take toward it.

If we could survive
the night terrors and the
I don’t ask whys
then maybe we could learn to live
without it.

But when I don’t have it suddenly
freedom is like air
that’s not there and I’m







something called an existence.
But there’s never any standing room in this stance
because without freedom there is no
there is no Sunny Day
there is no sorrow
there is only…
only, what you cannot say and
only, this.

Operation Enduring Freedom pssht. Blasphemy. Treachery. Well I’ll be hanged.

However expensive Freedom is and
whatever it takes to get me to it
Like a gulp of fresh air in my mind and AHhh.
I can think again 😉 Like a normal person. What bliss.

because Freedom is more important to me than money than power than this than that pretty much the only thing that’s more important to me than Freedom is Love. And Love won the battle, and Love won the War. That it waged against freedom in my heart. And now I’m living in a cage with Love but it’s


Because Love was worth it. Love is definitely always worth the sacrifice
of Freedom.

so Goodbye Freedom
Goodbye air.
Goodbye sweet {questions everywhere.

“Man is born Free, but everywhere
he is in chains.”

Perhaps there’s no such thing


as Freedom.

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