The heart of a soldier - SAMPLE

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Chapter 3: Homeward

A few weeks later

As weeks passed by and my health was improving, I was feeling anxious to get out of the bed and out of that hospital room finally.

The headache was finally gone and now I was waiting for Doctor Harris to come and do a checkup.

“Mr. O’Donnell are you ready for a checkup?” Doctor Harris came into my room and took the instruments he needed and came closer to my bed.

“Yes, I am.” I nodded my head and let the doctor do his work.

When he finished I asked him right away “so what is the verdict doctor?”

He laughed and said, “Are you feeling anxious to leave?”

“Yes, I am.” Laughing I said.

“Well Mr. O’Donnell everything seems fine and going as planned so I think we can let you go, but you still need to take it slowly and in a week come and see me for another checkup.”

“Sounds good to me Doc.” I smiled excitedly.

He laughed and we said byes to each other as I waited on my family to come so I can surprise them and go home finally.

A few hours later my mom, dad, and my baby sister came in and greeted me with smiles and kisses as I smiled at them all in return.

“Guys I have news,” I said to them.

They looked at me and my dad asked me “What’s the news?”

“Doctor Harris said I am free to go home,” I told them smiling.

My mom and sister squealed and jumped happily to the news.

“That is wonderful news darling. Peter can you go sort everything out so we can take Matt home?” mom turned to my dad and asked him happily.

“Of course. Okay, you help Matt pack and get ready while I sort everything that is needed and we can leave from here. I will be right back.”

Dad left the room as I was left in it with my mom and Meg.

“Ok darling, let’s get you packed. “ Mom said.

I slowly stood up from my bed, feeling all my muscles screaming at me from lying down in bed and headed towards the connected bathroom that I had in my room.

“Do you need help in there?” mom shouted from outside the bathroom door.

“No, I am good.” Shouting back at her I did my business and went to the shower to turn on the faucet and regulate the water heater.

Taking off the hospital clothes, I got inside the shower and duck my head under the water and just enjoyed the feeling of warm water relaxing my muscles.

After a few mins just relaxing I took my shampoo and washed my hair.

I heard the knock on the door and mom’s voice “Are you ok in there darling?”

“Yeah, I’m ok mom, will be out in a few just to finish up,” I shouted back.

Closing the water and taking a towel I dried up my hair and body as I took my clothes I picked up for me to wear.

Putting on my boxers and my favorite jeans I slowly put on my shirt and exited the bathroom.

“I think we packed everything. Are you hungry?” mom came to me and moved my hands to button up my shirt.

“I can do that myself, mom.” I kissed her on her cheek and smiled.

“Okay, darling. So are you hungry?”

“Little bit.”

“When we get back home I will make you your favorite. Would you like that?”

“That sounds great mom, thank you.” I smiled.

“Good, now where is that father of yours.” She went to look out for him as I stayed with Meg.

“I’m so happy that you’re released today. I missed you.” Meg came to me and I wrapped her up in my arms.

“I missed you to a little chipmunk.” I chuckled as I saw her glare.

“O my God! You didn’t!”

“Injured man here.” I laughed when I saw she wanted to hit me.

“You are lucky you’re injured or I would hit you hard.” She said as she sticks out her tongue at me.

I laughed.

“Okay, kids. Ready?” dad’s voice was heard as he and my mom came in and entered the hospital room.

“Yeah, we are.”

I went to the bed to take my duffle bag with my things but my dad stopped me.

“Let me take it, son, you’re still healing and you need to take things slow.” Dad stopped me by putting his hand on my healthy shoulder.

I nodded my head and let him pass by me.

I grabbed my jacket and we all left the room.

As we headed to the car I took a seat in the back with Meg next to me. Dad started the car and we were off.

Laying my head back on the seat I closed my eyes and rested. I felt my sister taking my hand in hers and asking me if I am ok.

I smiled at her and reassured her that I am fine just resting my eyes as we were traveling. She nods her head and turned towards her left to watch through the window. She didn’t withdraw her hand from mine so we sat back and hold hands as we enjoyed the ride back home.

Entering the street that I grew up in, I watched as we passed our neighbor’s houses, some had children outside playing some were empty and now and then would see few neighbors doing gardening or mowing their lawn.

I loved this street.

It was so full of life always and so many memories connected me to it, even some were nostalgic and painful to go back to.

I knew my parents wished I came and visited more often, but I couldn’t. I did as much as I allowed myself to.

But yes truth be told I buried myself in my work. I loved my work as I was always so hyper and energetic and I never was a lazy one.

It wasn’t hard for me to pick what I wanted to be when I grow up.

My family was generations and generations in the military so yeah I as well followed that path.

My father is a retired general. He is truly respected and his scores in the military academy were admirable.

He worked hard and always, had to be the first, on top of all.

Smiling to myself as I think of that, yeah I might have messed that up a little bit for him.

We weren’t a strict military family as many would think. Having an admiral for a father, everyone would think he was strict and we had strict rules as we grew up.

Sure we had rules yes, as everyone did too, but my parents never hide away their affection for us, their children, nor towards themselves.

Sure being the Dennis the Menace, I was grounded and scolded as anyone.

But I always admired my father, and I loved his and my grandfather’s stories of all their adventures.

Every Christmas as the family would gather, we kids would surround my grandfather as he would be sitting close to the big fireplace in the family room. I can just see it so clearly still in my head.

The brick fireplace that was decorated by Christmas stockings and cards, big oriental carpet on the wooden floor in front of a fireplace. On the right side of it was a Brown big leather chair with a white and red blanket with imprints of a deer. Next to the chair was a dark wood side table where my grandfather would put his book and reading glasses if he would take a nap or look outside a big window that was on his right side taking up almost the whole wall side.

The Christmas tree would be light upon the left corner of the room with a huge bunch of presents for the family.

Every time in the evening time, we would sit on the floor and surround my grandfather as he would vividly tell his life stories to us.

We would giggle, scream, laugh so hard but we never seemed to lack questions as we would literally bomb him with them, no matter how much time we would hear the story we always were eager for more.

Even sometimes my father would join us and listen and laugh.

So yeah that was the time I knew who I want to be and what I won’t do. My grandfather and my father were my idols and to make them proud I worked so hard to do better and I did.

I was the best and on top of my class in the academy. I had a team that I knew I can trust and rely on as well they trusted me and knew I had their back as well.

I knew my mother wanted me to go in early retirement and as she was nagging me with and I quote her words: “Matthew I am not getting any younger and I want a grandchild so go out there and meet a woman that will deserve you and start a family.”

Shaking my head to those thoughts I leaned my head back and waited to get to our destination.

A few minutes later my dad said

“We are here.”

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