A Meditation This Memorial Day

Please remember why

So many giving their lives

Bird song on marble

As a young man, I was quite proud of my decision to join the Navy. No plans for great and noble sacrifice. My future was what mattered; potential, possibility. There were thoughts of glory, but not of sacrifice. 

I’m sobered as I remember my youth. The naivete. The impulsiveness. The reckless spirit. The commitment to my friends. A child in so many ways, carrying amazing responsibility. I held the keys to horror. Mistakes could mean anguish and death for my friends, my crew, those I loved, and for countless innocents. 

I’ve seen the face of parents who’ve lost their children. Of wives who lost their husbands. The promise of youth shattered to pieces. That leaves a horrible swath of destruction within hearts. 

I consider all of this as I look upon this day and it’s symbolism. There’s so much we have yet to learn. 

Dreadful thoughts from a young mind 

“My dad is dying”

My son’s friend was telling me

“I don’t want to go”

“Not there when I needed him”

Dreadful thoughts for a young mind 

Beth Caldwell’s impact on metastatic breast cancer

http://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2017/11/beth-caldwell-impact-metastatic-breast-cancer.html

Not a work of poetry, but poetic in it’s raw power. It also features evocative language. 

“The only thing that brings me any sense of meaning these days is to think of these fallen trees as nurse logs. Their memories, their lives, their children, their passions, their faces, their senses of humor, their wisdom, their spirits, their beautiful beautiful beautiful spirits are nurturing us, feeding us, giving us strength to go on, to demand change, to bring research to our friends, to fight against death death death so much death. Their falling leaves a hole in the forest canopy, but their souls are bringing new life to our movement and nutrients to keep us growing.

“And someday this forest will cover the world.”

As someone who lost my mother to breast-cancer far too young (pretty much the same age as Beth), this piece hits me hard. Tears, memories, so very much brought up. And, you may find it strange to share this Christmastime, but I always remember that first Christmas after my mom died. Really, though, I see this as a powerful way to honor her. 

Blessing to each of you this Christmas. Love well, love strong, love

The Freshman Suicide

A freshman committed
Suicide 
Died last night,
I hear the wail
Of robbed potential,
The silent home
A room, empty,
Where homework 
Should be studied,
Driving lessons 
Rehashed,
Proms planned, 
Eventually weddings, childbirth 
Joyful transition 
Parent
To grandparent,
Planning OUR funerals,
Not of a child. 
Funerals for children 
Brutal
Life is fragile.