A Mother And Daughter Recall Fears Of War

Papsy and Griselda Lemus. i i

"I didn't know if I was ever going to see you guys again," Lemus tells her daughter Griselda. StoryCorps hide caption

itoggle caption StoryCorps
Papsy and Griselda Lemus.

"I didn't know if I was ever going to see you guys again," Lemus tells her daughter Griselda.

StoryCorps

Even the best soldiers' stories that include the happy ending of a safe return from the front can include heartbreak, especially when talking with your kids.

Sgt. Papsy Lemus served in Baghdad for 13 months, leaving behind her two daughters.

When StoryCorps stopped near their home in Salt Lake City last month, Lemus recorded an interview with her older daughter, 9-year-old Griselda, who wanted to ask her mom some questions about her time at war.

Lemus was honest and said she felt worried: "I didn't know if I was ever going to see you guys again."

And when she saw other kids in Baghdad, she admitted "it was kind of overwhelming" because "it reminded me of you guys."

But Lemus did not shoot her rifle, another concern of Griselda's.

Lemus had some questions of her own — like whether her daughter was afraid.

"I was afraid mostly on your birthdays, because ... what if you died on your own birthday? And I would never see you again," Griselda told her.

When Lemus returned home, she worried how Griselda and her other daughter, Nancy, would react.

"Are they going to remember me and love me?" she wondered. "Or are they going to hold it against me for leaving them?"

But when she saw them again, they ran up to her and said, "I love you, Mom, and welcome home. I missed you."

Produced for Morning Edition by Katie Simon. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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