I closed my eyes last night as the images of people cheering filled the television screen. Crowds by the thousands were gathering. Flags were being waved. A man is dead and collectively we celebrate. I’m not quite sure how I’m supposed to feel about that.
“We don’t kill! We don’t hurt! That is not who we are and it is not what we are about!”
I exasperatedly spoke these exact words to my children just this past weekend as one of the games they were playing was apparently getting out of hand.
I count myself fortunate — extremely fortunate — that the events of the past decade have only tangentially affected my life. I watched buildings collapse and people perish as my daughter made busy with toys and the concerns of a child in front of it all. I watched as neighbors, second-hand acquaintances and even friends left their homes, their families and their security to protect me and mine. My children are growing up in a time of perpetual war — and yet are summarily unaffected by it. Their days and weeks are filled with the worries of themselves. They have asked little and I’ve offered less in explanation. I really have none.
I’d like to think that this means it’s over.
I’d like to.
Simple as I may be though, I’m not naive. A man is dead, and justifiably so, but I have a hard time believing that this means tomorrow will hold any more promise than today. I also have a difficult time convincing myself that I should be celebrating. The world is different. Uncertainty tinged with a bit of fear will continue to cloud the mundane issues of my daily existence.
There is still homework to check, softball games and soccer practices to attend. Piano recitals and gymnastics classes. The laundry will still need folding, dinners will still need to be prepared. And I’ll still be paying $4 a gallon to fill my car with gas. I’ll keep on.
I slept last night much in the same manner as I have for the past ten years — comfortably. I imagine tonight will be no different.
(I really have no idea where this post was going or what I actually intended to say but somehow felt it necessary to put something down. Anything, I guess. I am now and forever will be thankful to those men and women of our armed forces that give ultimately of themselves so that I can simply continue on. I am very fortunate, indeed. )