This weekend my oldest daughter and her husband went to a wedding of one of their best friends. His wedding was postponed three times due to the pandemic and it was finally going to happen. Understandably, they really wanted to attend. So my wife and I agreed to babysit.
Our grandson is 20 months old and a real pleasure. During the pandemic we’ve been babysitting him in the afternoons so his parents, who both work from home, could get their work done. They live nearby and he’s really comfortable at our home. But he’s never spent the night away from his parents. So it was a big deal for him and kind of scary.
The day was lovely as it usually is. And he went to bed pretty well for a first-time sleep away. But once breakfast was over, he grabbed his shoes and was ready to go home. We explained to him that mommy and daddy would be back around lunchtime, and with some distractions, he was able to calm down and begin to enjoy the day.
But just before that, I saw the distress in his eyes. He was throwing his food, which he hasn’t done in many months — like the gorillas at the zoo when they are angry. He was crying, and looked really distressed.
Memorial Day was created to remember our fallen soldiers; those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. But as I looked at my grandson, it made me think of the siblings and parents of those children who died during the many school shootings and other senseless killings that seem to happen every week; of the orphans of the war in Ukraine where thousands will never see their parents again; of the children of the one million Americans who have lost their lives during the pandemic. All survivors of the losses from urban war and infection war.
My grandson is lucky. He has his parents and all of his grandparents. He even has one great grandmother. But in addition to remembering the soldiers from the battle field who have lost their lives this Memorial Day, consider a moment of silence and reflection for the other lives lost daily. It’s the new meaning of Memorial Day.
Below is a music video of a melody I wrote for our fallen soldiers. While you listen, take a moment to think of all the others who have lost their lives, and their survivors whose lives are forever shattered. All war is hell. (Score-Mache Seibel; Piano Ben-Schwendener; Sax-Uwe Steinmetz; Drums-Mike Calabrese; Bass-Bridget Kearney)