I’ve read many beautiful stories in response to a writing prompt by Prisimatic-bell about Valhalla not discriminating against anyone. The message was; you can make it into Valhalla regardless of the kind of battle you fought to get there. This is of course contrary to actual Norse mythology, where only those that die in combat go to Valhalla after their deaths. So bear in mind that this is just my response to a writing prompt response and a story I’d also like to tell:
Three Marines enter the gates of Valhalla
and stand before warrior God Odin, The All Father God, Spear-Shaker, Ancient One, Wand-Bearer, Teacher of Gods. He raises his flagon in toast and to all within the sound of his voice he commanded…. “Warriors, raise your glasses one and all to our battle weary threesome from the Eagle Globe and Anchor tribe”. For their battle has come to an end, although not in victory but more importantly to the honor to which they raged their battle. After draining the flagon of its mead, he slammed it briskly upon the banquet table ….refill while we hear their tales of courage and bravery in the field of battle, he commanded.
The three warriors stood in humble silence awestruck in the presence of Odin and the hall of mighty warriors. Odin asks again … but this time pointing to the only woman of the three he said; You woman amount men, tell us of your battles.
She began to tell the tale of their journey to Valhalla. Our battles were not with opposing armies, invaders or conquerers. No green pastures or mountain ravines hosted the battles we waged. Our battles began and ended below our very flesh and deep with our bones. Our scars bear witness to years of close combat with needles, scalpels and portals where poisons were taken into our very veins to the defeat our enemy below. We waged long and painful war on the enemy yet, we could not escape ourselves. For even while we rested the enemy advanced sometimes quickly and other slowly without warning.
The two men then spoke at length about the squads of men and women who came to their aid during the long and arduous battles. The nurses, doctors, aids, friends and most importantly their families, joining forces to create the most formidable strategies, weaponry and support. They knelt before Odin to humbly plead the he welcome them to the great hall in repayment for their tireless efforts.
Odin spoke softly to the threesome and ensured them that all battles with cancerous blood clots, infections, lymph nodes, tumors are no more in Valhalla. Rest here and heal within the walls of the great hall. You fought your enemy with unyielding strength and valor few men will ever know. You have earned your place here for the dignity and perseverance you demonstrated which gave strength to others around you. Then in a thunderous tone he ordered that the three be brought the finest Eagle, Globe and Anchor in Valhalla.
The Eagle– To the 1st male warrior from Wisconsin he awarded the Eagle. This eagle is the spirit of rebirth, new beginnings, and the joy for the coming of spring. Your life as a triathlete he said has been one of perseverance, and endurance for individuals who have been through difficult times. Fly above all the thousands of those that aspire to follow in the path you paved in the world of Ironman to show them the way and the grant them strength.
The Globe – To the 2nd male from Texas he gave the globe. To you I award the globe. Your life in law enforcement enabled you to develop deep assumptions about yourself, others, and world around you. You shared your beliefs regarding the benevolence and fairness of the world, the nature of humanity, personal control, luck, randomness, and vulnerability, and how and why events occur in life stories you have shared far and wide. Keep this globe as a reminder that now more than ever the world you left behind needs the wisdom you have earned to build back relationships as a vehicle to find common ground among people.
The Anchor – To the woman he gave the Anchor. To you a queen among men, I award the anchor symbol that represents salvation, steadfast belief, and hope and faith in Christ. As a woman Marine you have been the provider of safety, security, confidence, hope, stability, good luck and consistent strength to others. With your anchor continue to teach others the power to overcome adversity and to be forever resilient.
To the inspiration for this story I thank my fellow Marines, Dave O, Jamie and Bo. Valhalla is the great resting place of warriors. You are in my thoughts always and I hope to one day earn the right to be there with you. Fergy