Every year on Memorial Day, I go outside and take a picture of my front porch and flag. I swear, this picture looks just like I feel – kind of tired and limp. I am in the process of scraping the white paint off, it got so badly chipped during a terrible hail storm last summer. My daughter said she would help me today. On that front porch is a little white rocking chair. The hail also blasted the paint off of it. I think I will paint it when I paint the railings. The deck, I hope to paint later.
Last night my “other” daughter called me and asked me to drive her to urgent care. I know it hurt her to do that, she is so much like me. Her right eye was swollen and red, even the whites are bright red. We drove across town and she was diagnosed with a scratched cornea, given some salve, and sent home. She was offered vicodin, but said “no, thanks.” As I waited for her, for some reason I remembered childhood injuries and trips to the ER. It was the only time my folks ever stopped at Dairy Queen. Weird. Anyway, we went to DQ on the way home. Nice.
I haven’t mentioned Memorial Day. I know it is right to acknowledge the people who died in wars and set aside a day to remember them collectively and individually. After having spent two Memorial Days with my son overseas in wars, I will never look at this National Holiday the same way. It is TOO painful. I remember my son’s friends who died. I remember that one of my brothers was pretty normal until he went to Vietnam. He still made a good life, but he has been tortured throughout it. Decisions made in 1967 that cost the lives of young boys, 17 years old, still inhabit his days and nights. It is not an abstract to me, it is real. The thought of young mothers, wives, sisters, and children laying flowers on the graves of their beloved sons/husbands/brothers/fathers is almost more than I can bear. Sorry, I know I am being selfish.
I live near a national cemetery, there are flowers to be bought on every corner as you near it. The supermarkets are full of grave bouquets. It used to be that people would go to the cemetery to pay honor to their grandfathers and long lost fathers. Now they go to mourn people who would still be young today, but they are not.
Sorry to go on and on like this, but one more thing. I either need to go to the doctor and find out why I can no longer train the way I did just a year ago, or I need to stop altogether. I cannot spend every weekend just trying to get out of my bed or my chair because I hurt so bad from my Saturday morning run . For the last couple of weekends, I have actually wondered if I have some serious health issue, the first symptom of which is that I can no longer run long distances. I know it sounds reasonable to say it is my age, but it is not such a huge leap from 60 to 61.
On these lovely notes, I will wish you all a happy Monday. For some of us, it is a holiday. For some of us it is a painful day. For some others, it is just plain old Monday. Whatever, it is a day that God has given us. I think I will try to thank him by how I spend my day.