I borrowed this photo from G.P. Cox’s “Pacific Paratrooper” blog because I could not just pass it by. It just said too much. We can focus on the “why” if we must. But I instead would prefer to focus on the “what”.
It said to me that life is not always as we would wish it to be, but it does not repel us from our pursuit. There is just something within us that says not only “I can do that” but also “I must do that”. And, sadly, another young life, newly minted, called from within to take a stand, with all the bluster and bravado of youth, has been taken from us.
I look at this family and I see Grandma and Grandpa and three siblings or children of the deceased, paying respects to the the oldest son or daughter that marched off one day and didn’t return, at least as expected. I can imagine them driving in from the farm in a much used pickup truck, Grandma lovingly carrying the tulips on her lap that she dug from her garden, to be placed on the grave. The children, staring at reality, trying to piece it all together. Trying to make some sense out of why he or she is gone.
Homespun is the word that comes to mind. They don’t have much, but they will make do. They have each other and, although the eldest child who not that long ago was helping Grandpa on the farm or Grandma in the kitchen, is now gone. All that is left is the love, given and received in their short life.
The simplicity of their dress speaks of grassroots America. Working the soil, sustaining themselves through hard work and the American dream of living in peace and that prosperity is in our heart as well as our hands. That it is upon us to give back. Every day bringing new challenges and hopes and a few successes, but also bringing days such as this. What once was, still is.
I see both a beginning and an end. The fortitude of family, once again tested, as it has always been and always will be. I see tomorrow reflected in the children. The circle of life once again struggling toward fulfillment. I see the values of a lifetime carried proudly on the shoulders of the elders. A lesson being taught. A lesson being lived.
I see. No, I feel the pride that they carry within. It is as a flame that flickered and then regained it’s glow, providing both warmth and light. They are but one family, but they are us. This was our son. This was our daughter. And for every freedom I enjoy, I owe it to them. Thank You.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength. Loving someone deeply gives you courage.”