invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

9:02 on the clock November 30, 2006

Filed under: family,life,pain — clementine @ 8:08 pm
Tags: , , ,

i’m a firm believer in… all pain is equal. there are many days when the shit gets bad and i repeatedly say, it could be worse. it could be worse. the phrase life is short is frequently used but i wonder how many people actually hear it or believe it. the truth is, yes, life is short. too short for some. my nineteen year old cousin was killed in kuwait on february 6, 2003. he joined the national guard for one reason: tuition assistance. and now he’s dead. my father’s cousin died eleven years ago. while visiting the memorial site i realized, yes, life is short. seeing his marker surrounded by smaller markers, those of the children killed that same day.

those children didn’t get the chance to really live life. their time here was too short. for those of us here today, as long as we’re breathing, we should be living. doing something differently. opening our hearts. our minds. our souls. we can’t stop the violence. but we have a voice, we can use it. we can’t end poverty. but we can help a few in need. we can’t change the past. but we can learn to live in the present. we can’t stop the hatred. but we can love. today i was reminded of my father’s cousin and thought i’d share something i wrote a few months ago.

9:02 on the clock

a man calls a friend
he asks a favor
could you please pick up some paperwork
at the social security office?
he would drive himself
but he spends his days
in a wheelchair
to the friend, i am sure
it was a simple errand

i imagine
the friend
stood in line, making small talk
possibly with teresa
who was there
to pick up a social security card
for her 8 month-old-son, sean
or maybe
the friend
he no longer waited in line,
he was at the counter
chatting with richard
who had worked there for years
or maybe
the friend
he stood in line, talking to no one
alone with his thoughts
thinking of
the many things
he had to do that day
it was still early, after all

this was no ordinary day
it was
the 19th of april
the year, 1995
and the social security office
was in
the alfred p. murrah federal building
in oklahoma city

the clock read 9:02 a.m.
when a truck bomb
made of ammonium nitrate fertilizer
and fuel oil
outside the building
the explosion could be felt
30 miles away

168 were dead
19 of which
were children
one of which was
the friend
my father’s cousin
thomas was his name

he was a good friend
he was a good husband
he was a good father
he was a good man
he lived a good life

twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. so throw off the bowlines. sail away from the safe harbor. catch the trade winds in your sails. explore. dream. discover. – mark twain


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