Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day
As we start off this three day weekend, we should all stop for a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday before firing up the grill for the cookout. I had an opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery a few years ago. As I stood on the hill by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I looked around and, as far as the eye could see, there were white marble grave markers. Many of these markers have been placed for men and women who served this country, came home, lived their lives with their families and, in the fullness of time, passed away, their grave site a gift of a grateful nation. However, there are so many that had their lives ripped from them in one violent instant, moving from life to death so quickly that they hardly knew it, leaving their loved ones to wonder why. Others died slowly on the battlefield, their life seeping from them as their blood stained the ground of a foreign nation. There are more than men and women buried here. There are hopes and dreams that never came to fruition, ambitions that were never realized.
Therefore, before we head out to have fun this weekend, we should whisper a simple "Thank You". Most of these people gave everything they had so we could remain safe to be with our families. They are continuing to do so everyday is Iraq, Afghanistan and other places where they go in harms way. Thank you all and be careful out there.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Profound Thoughts.

Mrs. Just Dave is out of town taking care of her mother and I am sitting around with too much time on my hands. I was thinking about when we lived in Lubbock, Texas, a place that makes a pancake look hilly. My youngest son, who was around 4 or 5 had a hamster that he really enjoyed taking care of and playing with. Of course, one morning we awoke and found that, sometime during the night, Fred the hamster has crossed over to Beulah Land.
My son was upset but not hysterical. We found a proper coffin ( a shoe box), packed with some sewing scraps and laid Fred to rest, with all due ceremony, in the back yard, deep enough so the dog couldn't disinter him for a snack. Afterwards, my son asked, "Why did Fred die?". We sat and I explained to him the nature of life and death, that for every birth, we owe a death back. It is not something to worry about or be afraid, it is just a fact of existence. I could see the conflict on his face as he worked this information over in his head. I thought he was wondering if even Mom and Dad and even he had to die someday. When he finally spoke, he said, "You mean even the damn flies die without being swatted?" Like I say, profound thoughts.