August 10, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 332

Wives Of Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, August 10--In America, there are 26 million wives.   Each one deserves a Medal of Vigilance for putting up with her husband.   Each is as heroic as anyone who dashes into a burning building, neglecting their own safety, their own security, offering their life for their spouse.  At least, that's my viewpoint.
       Many of the 26 million married men might take issue with my opinion.  That isn't new; it just makes them men.   Men often forget the sacrifice a woman makes when she marries because most women believe in love, true love, while most men haven't the foggiest idea what it is.
       Love is, and always has been, maternal.   It comes encased in a womb, perfumed with hormones that provide a woman with a caring that few of us men can ever comprehend.    Our testosterone blinds us,  as booze and drugs blinds its users from seeing the values of life,
       Today is my wife's birthday.   She has loved me unconditionally for over three decades, through thick and thin, glory and defeat, pain, joys, ups and downs--in sickness and in health.  I forget what sacrifice she makes to love me with all her heart, while I, in my testosterone armor, continue to clatter around in my not so shiny Knight's Armor, trying to understand my meaning, my essence, my purpose on this earth.
       Women have a primary purpose that a man can never understand--motherhood.   They give birth to the future of the world, while a man stands by holding her hand, watching from afar as her entire body turns angelic, and she delivers unto this world the greatest of all miracles--life.    In that celestial and reverent moment, all the love that is possible within a woman--and, for that matter, the world--collect within her heart and fills the delivery room with an aura the overpowers everything imaginable.
       I remember sitting next to my wife as she delivered our two children, watching her face and listening to the quickened breathing as she pushed and struggled to sprout new life upon the face of the earth.    I can still see the beauty of her smile, and feel the glow of her being as the children were placed on her chest and she touched them with her smile, caressed them with her eyes, and stroked them with the softness of her palms.
      I also remember, and still do, being "her child."  
      And not always the "good boy" child.
      I know I've broken her heart many times in my clinkering of self-imposed knighthood, in my battles to "find myself" amidst the cacophony of life, which for a man, seems to be an empty Holy Grail.
      From time eternal, men have set sail to the horizon in search of the Golden Fleece.   Homer's Odyssey about men in search of long lost treasures is a mere drop in the bucket of men's restlessness to find vainglory in some far and distant land.   
       Lysistrata, the famous 411BC Greek play by Aristophanes, is about the women of Athens revolting against war.  The plot is about as simple as it gets: Athenian women, fed up with the Peloponnesian War, barricade themselves in the Acropolis and go on a sex strike to force their husbands to vote for peace with Sparta. The women want to stop the folly of war--the waste of their men trying to conquer the world to "prove themselves men," when, in their opinion, the highest degree of manhood is being a husband.
      Lysistrata is a word that means "releaser of war," a symbol that women have conquered the battle of self value, while men still struggle to comprehend it.    As birth is a form of fulfillment for women, war and conquest is to men.   The play depicts the tension between the two.
      In modern times, we have a book called Women Are From Venus, Men Are From Mars.   But the theme is the same.   Men don't understand women.  Women don't understand men.
      We forget that women are far braver than men.   At the World Trade Center two women were killed saving and helping others, one a New York Police Officer, Moria Smith, and a Port Authority Police Captain, Kathy Mazza.  Mazza was seen using her handgun to shoot a glass window blocking the escape of victims, and then rushing back into the building to help others when she was killed.
     But then there were the hundreds and hundreds of women who, as the men, helped others, directed and managed the safety of countless thousands that day.   One has only to watch the movie Nine To Five to be reminded who's in charge of any office--and one September 11, while the men seem to dominate the glory of that event, if the truth were ever told, it would be the women making the men look good.
      Most war memorials illustrate a woman standing tall in the face of bloodshed.   Women provide the strength for men--the foundation upon which men walk.    The world's greatest movie of all time, Gone With The Wind, symbolizes a woman's strength in the face of war, and men's journey to find themselves in places other than home.
      It is the wandering soul of a man that a woman mothers.   Often, she lives in the Terror that he cannot see the beauty of his life, the joys of his fatherhood, the magic of his power to head up a family.   His quest is usually power and prestige, to become a warrior of regal stature who is able to set down his own laws, to not be committed to the simplicities of love and life, but rather stirs the pot, constantly looking for his own sense of masculinity while a woman knows her femininity virtually upon birth.
      In the movie Trains, Planes and Automobiles, John Candy and Steve Martin end up sharing the same bed, and, upon awakening, find themselves "cuddling."  Instantly, both actors leap up and grab their testicles and start talking about football, as though tenderness and love were some alien creature.  The hilarious scene symbolizes men's battle with intimacy, and their Terrorism of Tenderness.
      I fall into that category.
      I have always been a warrior.    I've fought to the death in battlefields, not unlike any warrior.  I've risen to the top of business glory, using my mind and power of presence to command others.  I've crashed and burned, and in the wreckage of my disheveled life, my wife has been there for me.   I've battled cancer, and she's been there.  I've violated her trust, and she's been there for me. Warriors make room for  a tiny spot in their hearts for the love of a special woman and my wife Lori occupies that wee space.
      Many might criticize Hillary Clinton for "sticking by her husband" in the face of his misuse of power, but she understood the principle of the a Woman of Vigilance.   She was willing to carry the pain of her husband's frivolity upon her shoulders when she could have justifiably jettisoned him and the pain he caused.
      In a world where 50 percent of the population gets divorced, a woman who sticks with a man through thick and thin, battling the Terrorism he often causes her, is indeed a woman of Courage, Conviction and Right Action.  
      Men should bow to these women.
      I should to my wife. I will.  I do.
      Women who stand by their men are the pillars of Vigilance, the Mothers of Vigilance, the Matriarch's of Vigilance.
      To all who stand when they could run, to all who are willing to give up themselves to stand by their husbands, I salute you.
      You are, Wives of Vigilance.
       Happy Birthday, Lori.  And, Thanks!  I love you.


Go Aug. 9--The King Of Vigilance Lives

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