(This is Part Two of our story. Click here to read Part One if you haven’t already.)

“Mom! I killed people! I watched them die. I heard them scream. I watched life….just…gone, Mom.”

My son’s crying was loud enough now that it disguised my own. His was due to the horror of war tearing away his humanity, his innocence. Evil had sneered its deplorable face in battle and scared his heart.


The pain that came from his voice was so deep, so primitive. As if my presence, my answer was the water that his flesh so earnestly needed to stave off death. If only I had words to say.

My heart was just as laid bear as his. Though I had not seen the battlefield, death I knew all too well.

“Mom! What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do?”

He started shaking. I could hear the wooden chair on the old hardwood floor squeaking. He was getting hysterical, like he did as a child when he didn’t get his way. But this was so much worse. There was no soothing. There was no easy fix. Just screaming and screaming, and crying and more crying.

“MOM! Make it stop.”

An idea came to mind, not a cheery one, but one that would help my son. I left the kettle where it was and went into the bedroom. I walked into the dinning room, reached down to my son’s tearful face. I scoped it up with my left hand, and said, “Mom will make it all better.”

I pulled the hammer back, and then the crying stopped.

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