Waxing nostalgic I searched my files and came up with this:… a nugget of how things once were….

We’ve changed; I’ve changed…

i remember the controversy over Donvitti’s Veteran’s Day picture… Many were moved at it’s evocative message to complain vociferously … Now jaded as we are, we’d just say”that’s Donvitti” and shrug it off… Yes, things have changed…

I think young people thrive on change: old people hold onto pieces of the past… and as much as I hate to admit it, I am less young than I once was.

Memorial Day used to sweep me with emotion as I remembered those who had gone before… Back then, I hadn’t had to bury any of them… I think funerals change a person. I think they provide a reality check against some of the dreams to which we aspire… So now, I accept out of duty, and go through the motions, of celebrating Memorial Day… But is more empty than it was before…

I wonder sometimes, if blogging burns out neurons. It seems to… Sort of the same way that drinking strong coffee, towards the end, doesn’t jolt to the same effect as did that first cup…. or that flush from a light Chardonnay, gets lost at the bottom of the third bottle, … or how attending aother funeral, becomes “just another one..’

So how does one celebrate Memorial Day? What is the most fitting way of doing something grand? Something that can be done year after year, without losing its impact, its effect, its meaning?

Attending services at first seems like a viable option… Showing your respect by driving around the state, stopping from memorial service to service to shake a few hands, thank veterans for their service…. but after a while, when you look at the impact of what you’re accomplishing, versus the time, versus the effort you paid out, and you start feeling it’s a lost cause, an issue of spending years collecting pennies in mason jars, only to find at life’s end, no one wants them?

But,

Huddled on a moonscape tonight, is someone’s little boy… someone’s baby girl,… Perhaps their eyes are blue, or maybe they’re brown… Perhaps their hair is fine, flopping the breeze, or maybe it’s wiry, cropped close to the scalp? Bottom line, and cold reality is: tonight, any one of them, could breathe their last …

And for what?

For a gabble of egoistic, cranky old coots jamming the halls of Congress? For a man, (or women) having the luck to convince more levers, more buttons, more check-marks, to be cast for his name as opposed to his rival’s? For their spouses sleeping around the base back home? For their kids missing a parent, and taking that frustration out on those in school? For less taxes, more taxes, too many taxes, not enough taxes? For giant building projects? For protecting the simple wetlands needed to keep a little quiet in the urban world?

Why?

These ideas go through every service person’s mind, just before the order to move out, comes down… “Why am I here. they wonder?”

The answer lies in a small word, with a big meaning…. America… People have tried to put their finger on it, just what that means… and no one can: It is just too big…

How can you describe standing on the rocky beach in Portland, Maine, looking out toward Europe on a clear blue day, and compare it to the hotness lining the burr-yos outside Los Angeles, where the most amazing senioritas strut their stuff? How can you link hiking under the spires of the pristine rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula, with laying in the sun, sweating on top of an Alabama haystack sharing that moment with your high school sweatheart and two cans of PBR?…. Impossible? Yet but all that and more, fall under the umbrella of that single word “America….”

All are indeed worth dying for…

So, I think when it comes down to it, my best way to honor those who went off and didn’t come back, is to ask, …. “what would they want to do right now, if they were here? What is the one thing they miss the most?”

That would be: spending quality time with friends and family… That would be my answer… Personally, if they were here again, I doubt that they would spend all day going from service to service… Instead, they would be hugging their children, never letting go of their spouse, laughing with their grandparents, chilling with their friends, … they would be living life…. a life they did not have.

THAT is what they’d want to do, … if they were still here…

So, that’s how I’m spending my holidays… with family. with friends. Doing some catching up, some future planning, some sharing….

And the thought occurs to me at some point during that time… THIS is what they gave up… THIS is the true nature of the sacrifice they made…..

And that stupid little tear that always forms in the corner of the eye, almost always at the most inopportune moment, is now…. there again..

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