Saturday, May 29, 2010
I'm not too keen on Memorial Day, frankly. My Grandparents lost a son, Malcome, in WWII. By all accounts, he was a dashing man, an intelligent young man, a guy who had no problem getting dates, a person of integrity and gentility and humor. He was the apple of his father's eye. And when he came home in a box from the far east, my grandfather's world crumbled. A long period of reconstruction lay ahead. He did not fully recover. He was changed utterly. But he continued to do what he could do, he was a participant in civic affairs, and he was a true, gentle man. He had chubby cheeks, we called him Pops, and we grandchildren loved him as much as any grandchild could. It is always hard for our children to fathom the sacrifices that were made for them. I am grateful that the history of that period has been so well covered, in the phenomenal motion pictures and historical novels of the recent past. It is a duty and a privilege to know our own history. I go visit the farm a few times a year, just to feel it, to remember the times I used to "help out", by riding on the back of the silage wagon, and as Paul Simon sang, to "preserve your memories, they're all that's left you." A poignant reminder for the ALZ affected, indeed.