Tooth-Pulling in life

Posted February 1st, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

One of my soldier/sons, Spc. Jason Maxwell wrote this during a reflective moment while on duty in the mountains of southern Afghanistan:

Spc. Jason Maxwell on duty in Afghanistan



“I freakin’ hate how much this place makes me think and dream about the past … mistakes I’ve made … decisions I should have made and decisions i shouldn’t have … people I took advantage of and people I should have been better to. I guess all I can do is take the thoughts and do my best to mold myself into a better person as well as better the people around me. Its only been a month and a half and this place is brutal in ways I didn’t think of.”

It’s comforting to see a young man in the midst of the adventure of his life checking inside his soul to make sure life is OK. Few men in his place these days do so.

My response was that of an old man (me) whose feet have already traveled a long road:

“You are in a great place in your life, Jason. Your reflections on things done and the path already traveled are the first step into full maturity for a man or woman. It’s sort of like having a tooth pulled … you enjoyed all the sweets that caused the tooth decay, the actual pulling out of the tooth is a lot harder than you expected and when its out and healing has occurred life is good, really good. Then you are ready for the next step on your journey. I’ll walk with you whenever you want ‘cuz I’ve already been down the road.”


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