The latest occurrences have reminded us all that vigilance is the only price we should really pay for freedom.

Vigilance, thus, could be easily called the enemy of fear for those who are comfortable in their own skin, but it could also be called the slippery slope of paranoia, for those with little confidence in their own means.

I heard a story today that made all other stories fade away. I sat down to work and for a couple of hours I would occasionally focus my thoughts on that story, as if I were trying to put myself in one of the main character’s shoes.

This lady I know lost her husband fourteen years ago. I’ve known her for about a year and a half and I never asked her about her husband. Everybody told me it was a “complicated” story. I never bothered asking anything else. Today, her sister told me everything.

Her husband, she said, was a little “off”… “you know, war does that to you”.

And what happened? I asked.

“Well, he hanged himself one day, even though he had a fourteen-year-old daughter and a beautiful wife waiting for him at home”.

As she told me that story, I flipped through old photographs of the two of them. I saw the young lady, so slim, so gorgeous. A true Latin diva: the perfectly shaped and warm-hearted mermaid of any man’s most daring of dreams.

He hanged himself. He took his life, his right, and his pain with him, but not without leaving a heavy weight behind for the girls to carry on their own.

I don’t judge him and I don’t blame him. The reality of those who serve “their country” in uniform is harsh and each one of them deals with their own experiences the best way they can, but I feel for her.

Not because I think she wasted her years with the man she loved only for him to take his life in the end, but because I know it’s hard to give in. To let go of somebody that means everything to you in the name of letting them exercise what’s most precious to man: freedom.

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