Sunday, August 7, 2016

That smile.

This is my friend Martha.  You may recognize her from my profile photo.  She was the sister of my oldest dearest friend, Jolie.  Sadly, they are both no longer here and I miss them both.

I know none of us is full of grace all the time, but I think Martha may have been an exception to that rule.  

This picture brings me great joy.  Martha and her husband, Andy, had purchased an inn in Baden, North Carolina.  On a visit to my mother, who also lives in North Carolina, we drove into the mountains to see them and their venture.  When we arrived, Martha was bending over a planting bed, putting flowers in the ground.  The last time we had seen each other was a sad time and it was so wonderful to see her and hug her, and be the recipient of that smile.

She toured us around the place in a golf cart, chatting and catching up.  I was totally amazed at this venture they had taken on, the inn, a golf course, a whole new life in a whole new place.

I can remember sitting on the porch and asking her

Martha, weren't you scared to do this?  What if it does not work out?

She looked at me and tilted her head to the side and said the following:

Yeah, it is scary.  And we thought long and hard about it.  At the end we thought - hey what is the worst that can happen?  We lose everything?  We lose it all and are standing in line at the food bank?  So what, we will have each other and that is what matters.

Good advice, I would say.  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sacrifice in white.

I have visited veteran's cemeteries.  Some where there are acres of strangers buried under white crosses.  One that has the best views one could want for your loved ones.  Ones that contain people I love.  None of them are easy to visit.

As I walk among the graves and those white stones, I think about the people under them.  Who misses them?  Who did they leave behind?  Who still comes here and speaks to them?  Who touches the stones and reads their names out loud?

The last thing I think about is the religious indication on the stone.  It means nothing to me.  

What does mean something to me is the person laying under that stone.  They went to war for their country, some willing some drafted.  But all went.  And whether they died in battle, or later from the struggles they could not leave behind, or from old age many years after their service, they all served.

I watched the DNC a couple of weeks ago, I cried with Mr. Khan and his wife over the loss of their beloved son and I agreed with his statement about sacrifice.

But it did start me thinking about that sacrifice, the sacrifice of losing your loved one while they serve our country.  OUR country.  Ours.

Who running for the highest office in our country has made this sacrifice?  Who in this particular election has even served or has a family member that has served?

Certainly not Mr. Trump who used deferment a number of times to get out of serving OUR country.  My brother did serve and he was one of the ones that could not leave his struggles behind and lost his battles.  

Certainly not his privileged children that had a choice to serve or not and choose not to.

But also not Hillary Clinton nor her child.

My family has always served.  Grandfathers, uncles, father, brothers, cousins, nephews and I am proud of each and every one of them and grateful.  I look back and wish I had served, but because I was a girl, it was not expected of me.

Perhaps it should be expected of all of us.  Perhaps is we had mandatory service and more people actually faced losing a loved one that would be under one of these white monuments some day, they might not be so willing to drop a bomb or send young people to foreign lands to perhaps never come home.  Perhaps if everyone in OUR country faced this possibility it would no longer be a possibility?