About six months after my friend, Deland, died in 1999, his widow and her family came to our farm, homeless and hungry. Angie is a proud lady and offered to repay our help. I told her that anything we shared with her was a gift. So began a journey that continues today.
Deland and I first met in a therapy group. We had been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a result of combat in Vietnam. Too often, PTSD sufferers go through life battling depression, reliving traumas, and feeling they are victims. There is another way for some.
Posttraumatic growth is a relatively new concept. UNC Charlotte, Dept of Psychology, describes it this way, “It [posttraumatic growth] is positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.” When Angie and her family arrived at our farm 17 years ago, she unwittingly became an instrument of healing for me.
Today, when I do readings and talks about my Vietnam memoir, Muddy Jungle Rivers, I discuss PTSD and how my journey with Angie and her family has been rewarding.
I am deeply honored to have Laura Schroff include Angie’s story, “Six cups of Coffee” in Angels on Earth.
Miigwech [thank you], Angie and Laura.