Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day, in particular, is a holiday of so many mixed feelings. Because we are immersed in a war right now, the true meaning of the holiday is magnified. I spent a somber moment looking at the faces in our newspaper of local soldiers lost. It looked like a high school yearbook with all the young, hopeful faces. A lost piece of our nation's future, our own hopes and dreams. I pray our troops will come home soon. I wish they never had been deployed there.

I also contemplate the powers that be who somehow justified this war, this loss of someone's son or daughter, father, mother, spouse. I believe each life is equal, a foot soldier just as important as a Commander in Chief. An average person, crossing a street at the wrong time in a crowded market. A child. Each life. Valued. Just as meaningful as another. It weighs on me, this war.

Memorial Day is also a time of joy. The unofficial start of summer. Barbecues. Pool openings. A long weekend.

And, for me, it marks the weekend my child was conceived just a few short years back. She was with me today in the jogging stroller as I ran a local race.

It's a fantastic event with a course that winds through the best neighborhood in the whole city. There were people out front of their homes, cheering, sleepy-eyed kids still in pajamas, bag pipes, music, celebration. It's set in a park with fountains and a rose garden in full bloom. The event always reminds me of why I love this community, this city that is my home. It means so much more to share it with my child along.

The race benefits the Brain Injury Association. A few head injury survivors show up to run and to support the event. When I see them, I see my father, a brain injury survivor for ten years. A million memories flood my heart, good and the not so good. On all days, but especially this one, I feel him with me still. I so much wish he could have held my child, that she could have known him. He loved kids.

I hope you all had a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend. My thoughts and prayers to our troops and their families.

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