Sunday, November 9, 2014
This weekend all I wanted to do was stay at home, indulge in the Hallmark Channel and
wallow in Oreos and loneliness. Pathetic, and I knew it.
However, here is what happened: I met a new important child in my life and held him in my arms as we celebrated his twelve hour birthday. Welcome to your life, and ours, Mister Jack Alton DuPont - the first child to my dear friends Shannon and Kevin DuPont. Many congratulations!
Then I had dinner with my amazing friend, Kathy Vena, who is in full care giving mode for her husband Dante, as they face Alzheimer's full in the face and heart. She is courage, beauty, fear, love and humor.
Then today I had the honor of attending a tribute for the World War II Foundation in Boston.
I met an incredible man who fought in Iwo Jima. He told me that this is heaven as he has seen hell. That you never take a glass of water for granted - he went without water for three days.
Three days! He has wondered what his purpose has been, as to why he was a survivor, when nearly seven thousand Americans died during that battle, 19 February – 26 March 1945.
I had to take a moment to accept that my story is completely different, yet what links us, is that we are incredible human beings who have more strength and power within us than we realize. That a fighter pilot of thirty three missions, can make a joke about getting lost with a GPS. That I shook hands with a smiling, welcoming man who as a young boy lost his entire family in concentration camps. Can you imagine?
These are the stories that film maker Tim Gray is making - and originally I thought to myself, what right do I have to be there? I'm nothing compared to the intelligence and experience of these people.
I have hardly any knowledge of any war - and yet - here's the thing - what I get from these stories is inspiration and a need to live! That's what history is about. That's what humanity is about.
One day, I am kissing a tiny forehead whose wide eyes were staring at me with a kind of wisdom, that only makes sense when you see it - and the next day, a man two lifetimes my age - telling me that life is a privilege and that I have nothing to fear.
I want to make a difference. I want to love, to laugh, to give, to inspire, to celebrate and to share.
No more waiting. Hiding. Eating Oreos (well, perhaps a few.) No more accepting judgment and comparisons or holding onto sadness. How can I complain, and I admit, want to cut out at a young age, when there are those who fought with blood and guts to allow most of us this freedom that we take for granted. That at nineteen, they had to face what I never wish to imagine. Yes, I'm pretty scared for my next unmarked journey - but surely if we all have this same beating heart, we can face anything.
And that is what I learnt from a baby boy, my dear friends and heroes of the second world war.
Always with love,