Since I’ve been working on Federal/Military projects lately, I’ve found myself thinking of the people I know and love that are or have been involved in the U.S. Armed Forces and how I can support them without joining the military myself. These men and women are AMAZING folks who are dedicating themselves to my safety and freedom and I’m very appreciative. I’m certainly not old enough to have any direct memories of Pearl Harbor, but after having been affected by 9/11, I can somewhat understand the enormity of the event as it relates to U.S. history.
The passing of John Lennon had a big impact on pop culture since he was a prolific singer-songwriter that changed the music industry forever and whose life was prematurely taken by an unstable man. I think people have such an emotional attachment to music (and musicians) that Lennon’s death made a bigger impact on their immediate/daily lives. They could pass off other things going on around the world as someone else’s tragedy, but – much like the death of Elvis – Lennon’s death hit a little closer to home. At this point it’s not that his murder was a bigger deal than Pearl Harbor, but that it was more recent. I also think that many people are more able or willing to forget events related to wars for whatever reason. (I’m not even going to try to figure that one out).
The passing of Elizabeth Edwards yesterday was a sad event, but also only truly touches a select few that knew her. Yes, she was a public figure, but I’m not going to say that her death touched outsiders more than her own children. I’ve experienced the death of a parent due to cancer and even that pain fades over time. As I was told by one family friend who had also lost her father and has been absolutely true: a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of my dad. I also think over time the humor and perspective on what they meant to your life gets clearer. My mom was careful not to elevate my dad to a status that he was not in real life. Yes, he did a lot for the community and his students, but he was a real, flawed person and we can’t just remember the good times. We have good and not-so-good memories and both are important to remember.
I can only hope that my friends who have lost their parents can find the same peace in who they are beyond their parents as I have. There are many days that I’m sad that I can’t ask my dad about something that I know he could have helped with, but I have to keep moving along with the resources I do have. Everything happens for a reason and we can’t even begin to imagine what reasons those may be. We just have to live one day at a time and enjoy the life around us.