Bringing Home the War
Copyright 2012 by Theresa Brandt
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Chapter 1-The Ending
The interstate stretched endlessly in front of me. The adrenalin of the day had long ago worn off and I was left completely exhausted. My brother was driving Dad’s old farm truck ahead of me. The headlights from my truck lit the interior of the small trailer of mismatched animals he was pulling. Stan had spent hours in the humid August heat helping me to catch chickens and goats and load them into various crates and cages. He had been fabulous help for me and the boys but he was not an animal lover. He had commented out of earshot of the kids that everything there could have easily been taken care of with a box of .22 rifle shells. The truck and trailer took a sharp turn and I swore under my breath as my old mare struggled to keep her footing. The protests of the goats and chickens could be heard through the night air.
We were somewhere in the middle of Illinois. We were a sad little convoy. Stan led the procession driving Dad’s flatbed farm truck and pulling the trailer. My sister-in-law, Connie followed with a van full of kids and essentials I couldn’t leave behind. I drove in the middle. Everything I truly loved was in those three vehicles. Everything except the husband I was leaving behind.
Twelve years earlier I had run away from a dangerous husband with John to a new life. Now I was running just as hard away from John back home. The irony of the way my life had come full circle was not something I really wanted to dwell on. Maybe years from now I would look back on this with some perspective and wisdom and feel as if this was a part of some great plan. Tonight, it took everything I had in me to drive mindlessly forward following Stan into the night. I had no desire to drive. I had no desire to start my life over again at thirty-five with three boys. I had nothing left to go back to, so I drove on.