Friday, April 9, 2010


I am at my desk with a crystal flower vase holding two exquisite pink climbing roses right next to the monitor.  A sign of Spring, a new beginning, rebirth, and the world waking from a deep sleep. Outside the birds are busy building nests with my dog's fur, the squirrels are racing from tree to tree and wildflowers are abundant.

In Afghanistan there is blowing dust and the enemy is being hunted.  Lives are being saved and lives are being lost.

I opened an email from a Marine right after Easter.  I want to share it with you. As you face the beauty of springtime please take a moment to remember our fighting men and women and what they sacrifice so that we may have pink roses in crystal vases on our desks.

"Remember what today is about.  Regardless of your beliefs, remember.  Know that although churches will be filled, and services conducted, your Marines continue to hunt the enemy with a relentless accomplishment.  There are no colored eggs or (melted) chocolate bunnies here.

Patrols finish up and return to base as others prepare to go out.  The continuous hunt for the enemy gains momentum as the holiday arrives.  There are no special meals or events planned but perhaps an extra religious service held next to a tent by a visiting chaplain for those who can attend.  Not sure what the day will entail as the enemy won't hold off just because of the content of the day.

Throughout my travels I happened to look down and in a sea of rocks this rock caught my eye.  Thousands of rocks, walked over time and time again, and as timing would have it, I happen to look down and see this single rock.  I haven't altered the rock, drawn on it or anything...simply picked it up and was surprised by the uncanny symbol of a cross on the rock.  You couldn't make a more perfect cross, if you were carving it.  Thought I would post it, as it seemed fitting for the day, especially since I found it here in Afghanistan with everything going on.  Take a minute where you are and look at what you are doing today and remember what the day is about."  Semper Fidelis

Far too often we take our lives here in this beautiful country for granted.  These young men and women have a soul and have a destiny of their own and it is my greatest honor to know them

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
And he said, "One day I hope you get a chance
To live like you were dying." 
Tim McGraw

The rock with the cross, coincidence, happenstance? Possibly.  But I like to think that it was there for a purpose. They are not alone and should not be alone. It is our responsibility to be there for these men and women as well.  They are strong, courageous, and vital to our country. 

Last  night a dear friend  and soldier sat beside me on my sofa, laptop on his lap, and shared photographs from his two deployments. It was hard to see, perhaps because it brought it to life in a new way for me, perhaps because it became more personal.  I wasn't able to say much, but simply look.  And what I looked at made me proud and even more outrageously committed to our fighting men and women and to this man who wanted to share a part of his life with me.  Why?  Perhaps because he trusts me or perhaps because he needed to or perhaps because I needed to see them. 

Whatever the reason doesn't really matter.  Lesson learned is in Tim McGraw's song - LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING.

Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman

So today hold a friend to your heart, laugh, sing, dance, pray, cry, hold hands.  Feel this life...feel these feelings...say all that sappy stuff  you've been holding in and tell someone you love that you do.  This is it...this is all there is...don't waste it. Put some roses on your desk.


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