In Fallon's second short story entitled Camp Liberty, deployed soldier David Moge is worrying about returning to ordinary life after living through a war: And Moge was seized with a terrible though: What if, after all of his longing to get out and get on with his life, in his comfortable middle age he would look back at this time and realize his years in the army were the most vivid, the most startlingly real, of his entire life?(55).
Certainly we've all stumbled, or been hurt in a way that has branded our impression of past experiences. But in my life I've had exhilerating, pure moments that rival the hard times, the memory of them being equally vivid, and as startlingly real. I imagine that in old age each of us will carry a suitcase carefully laid with the memories that seared the deepest. So, maybe it is part of our life work to strive for happiness that is rich enough to counter balance the darker times, so that when we eventually thumb through our "suitcase," the stacks of lights and darks will be evenly matched.