The Closed Door

Do you ever wonder why we have this unstoppable urge to open a closed door?  We feel a deep-seated desire to know what is behind that door.  We seem to be willing to take great risk to be able to turn that knob and walk inside.  It feels like a great mystery that we must resolve to be at peace.

One of my uncles had been a marine and fought on Guadalcanal and Okinawa, serving until the war ended.  In his house, there was a door that was always locked and only he had the key to it.  He would go in there for hours at a time and you could hear him talking, laughing and sometimes crying.

One day when he went to the store he decided to walk and left his keys on a small table by the door.  It was too much, more than I could resist, I had to go inside.  I grabbed the keys and could barely get the door open, with hands that were shaking beyond control I opened the door and walked in. It was a dark room musty and deathly quiet.  He had an army folding cot by the wall with a camp chair near a metal sea trunk.   I slowly opened the trunk and inside neatly folded was an officer’s dress uniform, field jacket and several medals in glass-topped wooden boxes.

This was something I didn’t know about and he had never said a word about it.  He had talked about living in Tokyo and loving the culture there but never mentioned the dark and frightening part of his tour of duty.  I was speechless, truly without words to express how I felt.

I had unceremoniously walked into a place where I didn’t belong and could never understand.  I felt fear and shame yet pride in my uncle and as I turned to leave the door opened and he was standing there pale and trembling, not speaking at all.  The moment stretched on and he finally came and sat by my side and told me of his journey.  He only asked that I never share his story and I never did.

Point Of View

Some doors are closed for a reason and perhaps we should respect that, but I felt that day that he unburdened himself and while closing one door he opened another.  He gave me his field coat and his lieutenant bars, and I wore that coat until it literally fell apart.   I was always more respectful after that, trying to be mindful of closed doors; yet, knowing that sometimes by opening the door you help close it.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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  1. Hi Larry,
    Thank you for this. I too have written about it. When one door closes, another often opens, and if we do not decide to shut one, perhaps another which offers far more may remain locked forever. Thank you for this.