Friday, October 29, 2010

Autumn - Season of Death

This year Autumn has not been very kind, or pretty. Other than pretty hot. If I'd kept the pool clean, I could still have been floating around in it for most of this season. The leaves have been very slow to change. they stayed lush and green for most of the season and now are falling to the ground, mostly brown.

I've heard people say they love the Fall because of the beautiful, colorful leaves, crisp clean air, and cooler temperatures. Then I've heard of others who hate the Autumn time because it just symbolizes dying and death. This year I'm falling into the second category of people. I'm sad, and I don't even personally know some of these people.

A young Marine from Waldorf, died October 27th, from injuries he sustained in Afghanistan. According to reports, he was caught in a blast from an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) on October 20th. That cost this 19 year old Lance Corporal both of his legs. A week later in Germany, complications from his injuries cost him his life. He was a 2009 graduate of my son's highschool. His first day of ROTC he told his instructor "I can't wait to be a Marine." This young man realized his dream, and died living it. He died far too young...sacrificing his life for the security of his country. Regardless of feelings about Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. involvement in those countries, this young Marine died a hero. I'm so sad for his family and friends.

Three young contract workers were hired to cut the grass on the median strip down the hill from my house. A young, 24 year old driver who worked nights, fell asleep at the wheel of his car. By the time he woke up, two of those workers were dead. One was thrown into the middle of the road. A driver, an ordinary citizen, stayed with the injured worker and comforted him during his last few minutes on this earth. Then the surviving worker came over and placed his jacket over the dead man so people couldn't gawk at him. The young man who fell asleep was so shaken he was taken to the hospital. His life is forever changed. The families of the dead men will forever feel their loss, and the surviving worker will wrestle with the age old question "Why was I spared?"

The mother of a woman I went to church with for years died last week. She was a sweet woman, who never failed to tell me I reminded her of someone she knew. I'm not sure she knew my real name, but she used to stare at me and when we talked, she'd always tell me the same thing. I hope that person I reminded her of was a nice one.

Finally, my best friend's mom is dying. It's been a stressful summer and Fall, but it now looks like her passing is imminent. She is 88 years old, and prior to her current illness, she could have passed for someone in her 60's. She's lived the last few years with my friend and her family since the passing of her husband.
I pray that her passing will be peaceful and comfortable. Death is rarely either of those things, which is why I pray for them.

Death is a part of life This is just a small example of the different deaths people experience. All ages, young, old, expected, and unexpected. Tomorrow may be your turn. None of us is promised a long life, or a peaceful death. It is appointed to man once to die...

May Winter bring a time of family and rest................

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