“We will accept nothing less than full victory.”
-Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower
This is a story of generational emotion and invisible wounds.
My grandfather, Ysidro Betancourt was a 2nd Ranger Battalion in WWII. He fought for his life just like the horribly violent opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. On June 6, 1944 he crept upon enemy lines via boat in the early hours. The 1st Ranger Battalion was entirely wiped out leaving the rest with a traumatic imprint on their soul.
Grandpa Sid was strong, tough, and, boy, was he hard. He taught me that you’ll never understand someone until you know their story. The internal struggle is real and one that we often judge so harshly from the outside. My spirit would be hardened too if I killed people with my own two hands and dragged my dead friends across enemy lines. Imagine how one’s integrity must leave so the animal instinct can take over in order to survive. It’s an empty place to be for anyone, especially a young man in his early twenties with an entire life on the horizon.
In the 1980’s you’d most likely find Grandpa Sid sitting on the couch staring at the TV even while his twenty-five grandchildren would be running around his home. He’d occasionally break from his inner-mind and give an occasional command, but mostly he sat disconnected from life. My dad said he never mentioned the war except for one time. He was in a borracho state and someone suggested that he go to Normandy to accept honors (he holds two purple hearts) and attend a remembrance. My grandfather immediately refused because he never wanted to remember a time when he had to kill people and carry his lifeless friends to avoid leaving them behind. D-Day seemed to be a constant doomsday on his soul.
I always thought my grandfather’s death was related to his experience in WWII. He died of esophageal cancer in 1990. Anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and grief are the five largest emotions underlying cancer. My grandfather carried loads of these feelings in his throat from his inability to express such a tragedy. He most certainly had a large energetic block in his voice that we visibly saw as a tumor. His story was the root of the wound, the origin.
After the war, my grandpa Sid came home and had eight babies; eight children created from a parental soul impacted by post-traumatic stress and suffering. The first generational line consisted of my grandfather’s brothers whom all died of cancer while the next generational line of my father’s brothers are all unfortunately dying of the same. Ironically, each cancer has consisted of the same energetic center, the solar plexus. It’s been a long legacy of dealing with the same invisible wounds of fear, trust and courage. Something I think dates all the way back to June 6, 1944.
Let’s not F*ck Cancer or Stand Up 2 Cancer or think that Cancer Sucks. It’s not the disease, it’s us. We need to take off our suits of armor and remember we are beings of light and love under all these wounds. If we take responsibility to heal our own soul, we can gift peace and clarity to the souls of our children. They will be able to see their path and purpose instead of spending a lifetime cleaning yours.
The cure is within you.