Caring. Polite. Kind-hearted. Thoughtful. Loving. Of course I am a bias wife and believe my husband, Geoff, is the sweetest man in the world, but he truly shows every good quality one person could have. We were 19, young, and so in love, when he was asked to join the war. Unless the people asked to enlist had a valid excuse there was no running from the hideous scenes that needed to be faced. Our country was not in as much trouble as some of the others, but once we entered the war it automatically became much more dangerous than it was before.
Geoff left a bit nervous but was excited also because the propaganda advertised the war as an exciting opportunity to serve for their country. They made it seem as though those who fought were bound to be known as heroes. He did not come back feeling like a hero. I wrote him while he was at war. I always asked how it was going, where he was, what the conditions were like but my questions were always unanswered. He tried to hide the horror from me as he thought I would be scared of what he had to encounter. I was still terrified. But I did not let him know that.
The day he returned was the happiest day of my life. To see my man with such as smile on his face me ecstatic. He looked so happy, nothing else mattered right there and then. He seemed better than what I imagined him returning like. We went inside, sat and drank a hot cup of tea together. For the first time in months I had felt warmth in my heart. Although, I could see that he was not quite the same as usual. I ignored it at first. Months passed and Geoff was a different person. He spent his days in bed and did not utter a word unless spoken to.
He hardly ate and did not work. In the dark of the night I would hear sobs coming from the other side of the bed. I would hold his hand and tell him everything was alright but I got no return of affection and all I saw was a man filled with sorrow. I became terribly worried about him. I knew I could no longer care for Geoff when he was in such a state and I had to do something. I wanted my old Geoff back. I called the local psychologist who had been recommended by a few of my friends. The first few sessions went by and I did not see any changes in Geoff.
I became worried. It was beginning to enter the summer months and Geoff was regularly seeing Dr. Matthews. I picked him up from the local clinic as I did with every appointment. When we returned home, I started with my weekly gardening, expecting Geoff to do what he did most in the recent times which was sleep. Although, it was that day that I saw a change. He did not go to bed. He came outside without saying anything, kneeled beside me and helped me pull weeds out of the soil. He looked up at me and smiled. The first smile I had seen in months.
It was in that moment that I saw the man I used to know return. Geoff was filled with complete guilt after the war. He did not speak much of it at all, but I could see it in his eyes. When the war was spoken about in the future, he became uneasy and nervous. But the kind-hearted man that he is, showed no hatred towards the opposite side. The conflict showed that one’s true colours are proven in times of such hardship. Geoff had suffered a tough time, but he was still the man he was before. Caring. Polite. Kind-hearted. Thoughtful. Loving.