Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day

This morning the family went to see my granddaughter's school put on a little show to commemorate Memorial Day.  We walked there since the school isn't far from our house.  On the way, hubby, the history teacher, gave us a history lesson on the origins of Memorial Day.

Of course, throughout history mankind has always felt the need to honor those who have defended their country.  Probably every country has something.  Back in the day, when hubby and I were young our elementary classes had commemorations on flag day--June 14.  Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day and it was whatever day May 31 fell.

There were holidays for each war, i.e., Armistice Day for World War I.  I guess I'm sorry to say that we have so many wars and military encounters that to honor them all would be too many.  Hence, the one Memorial Day to honor all veterans.

Here is one of America's favorite poets, Henry Wardsworth Longfellow, memorializing the veterans of the Civil War, but it is apropos to all wars.


Decoration Day

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry's shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
Or the drum's redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

                              -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oxymorons

Hell's angels

Loud silence

Found missing

Clearly confused

Act naturally

Small crowd

Silent scream

Awfully nice

Same difference

Good grief

Peace force

Definite maybe

Pretty ugly

Plastic glasses

Big baby

Jumbo shrimp

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Always Putting Me First

So here's what the last few days' obsessive posts have been about.  I was reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  The book is about euthanasia.  I can't give you the end because that would spoil it for you.  But I didn't like the way the author ended the story.

Let me put it this way.  If you're born without money worries; if you can choose whatever schools to go to; if your parents always can afford to let you make your own choices because they can cover the expensives; if you can choose your own career; if you're your own boss; if you make a lot of money; if you can afford to do whatever whim enters your head; then you will find it nigh near impossible to be faced with the fact that you can't do what you want.

Poor baby.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It Happens!

And another thing (I'm still thinking of my posts for the past two days), if something terrible has happened to you so that you can't do what you used to, or want to, so what?  That would have happened eventually, anyway.  I kind of am leaning towards thinking that one would have to be pretty selfish to just think or himself and not of those who love him.  Let's say the worst happened and you are bedridden for the rest of your life.  I pray that if happened you'd dedicate the rest of your life making those who love you "happy."  Enjoy the sunrise and sunsets.  Compliment people.  Make them laugh and love.  Don't think of yourself.

I know.  It's easy to say and may be nigh near impossible to do.  After all, I do know that you can't make people happy nor love you.

What brought this line of thinking on?  This morning I went hiking.  This picture is of a couple of lady slippers that I saw on the path.  Anyway, I used to fly up this fox trail.  Now I walk up like an old lady.  I am an old lady!

Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bad = Cursed Abominably

Yesterday's post concerned suicide.  Today I'm still stuck on suicide but I'm reflecting more on the thoughts of people contemplating suicide.  It just so happens that this morning's readings for the Monday after Trinity Sunday are on Job 2: 10. Didn't Job's retort to his wife, "Are even you going to speak as senseless women do?  we accept good things from God: and should we not accept evil?" bring me back to why people contemplate suicide!

IOW, the rain falls on the good and bad.  Life happens.

Still.

It's easy to philosophize and give advice; it's altogether different when it's personally your bad.  I get that.  And I thank God that so far, my bad hasn't been too bad.  However, I see other people's bad and see that some cope even better than ever.

I'm thinking of Andre Dubus II. I think he became a better writer when he became wheelchair bound.  Another acquaintance who had both legs amputated became a better person overall without legs.  Everyone thought and said so.  And he, himself, recognized that he thought and felt more whole when he saw that he wasn't physically whole.


Why do some people rise above their circumstances and others don't?  Counseling?  Acceptance of God's will?

Is it just a matter of attitude?  Can people make themselves accept and rise above the bad, and be happy where they are?

Worse, would be accepting and trying to make the best of it, and you can't.  Trying and failing.

Lord, where are you in all this?  Am I speaking like senseless women do?  Help me understand, Lord, and certainly help all those who are truly living the "bad".  Let them feel Your Love.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Enjoying Life

Ernest Hemingway died when I was in high school.  I remember that he committed suicide.  It was the first time, I think, that I ever heard the word "suicide."  I remember discussing his reasons.  One that I still meditate on is that he lost the ability to write.  Maybe, he lost the ability to do what he usually did.  But he did have more physical  and mental problems than people should have, so I think he could have used help dealing with those.  I don't think he was the type to ask for help.

I still think of his suicide, now and then.  My feelings of abhorrence haven't changed since I've been fourteen.  I still think suicide is ultimate selfishness.  The victim is only thinking of themselves, otherwise, why would they deliberately hurt those who loved them most?  The people left behind are devastated.

Before suicide, I hope people go for counseling.  I have a friend whose boyfriend committed suicide forty years ago.  She still wonders why.  She thought they would have a promising life together.  Another family grieves because their loved one, like Hemingway, believed he had lost his ability
 and killed himself.

.Maybe victims of suicide get too caught up in what they can't do, i.e., write, walk, etc., instead of enjoying what they can.  In other words, one can still enjoy sunrises and sunsets, laughter, music, the feel of the sun, create stories in your head--intangible beauty.

As we age, we won't be able to do what we used to do, anyway.  We cope as best as we can.  I don't jog anymore, I walk.  I can't play softball, I watch.  I don't teach, I play.  There comes a time when we all can't do what we used to do; it's now time to just enjoy and not do.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Tyranny of Time


Time is a tyrant.  We cannot escape it.  As children, our parents made sure we kids were where we were supposed to be.  We had no choice!  As teens, we had school time schedules, parental obligatory times, social times and hopefully, some personal time.  As adults, we have all of the above PLUS work schedules, family demands, and religious obligations.  As senior citizens, time still tyrannizes.  We have our immediate personal demands--medical, social, religious, PLUS more family demands than ever,because we may be taking care of a loved one, and attending ALL the grandchildren's sports and other recreational events.

And believe this; it's not important.  The only important time we should be paying attention to is the "hour of our death."

"Oh yeah."  "That."

All in the first paragraph is transitory.  None of it lasts.  The only constant is God.  And there will be a time when we will meet Him.  The author, Alice Camille, in her book, Listening to God's Word, explains that all the Gospel writers try to get across this immediacy of the time we will encounter God:

Mark--uses "immediately", 42 times in his Gospel
Luke--uses "today", Luke 4:21
Mathew--uses "now", Matt. 2:15
John--uses mostly "the hour", "eternal life," and "that day."

Since the concept of time that we live by in the first paragraph will pass, let's adopt the attitude of regarding time as a friend--a constant friend.  Life is a journey and time accompanies us until that very important last hour of our death.