Send a Thank You to the Troops

This is a great idea. One of my old Navy buddies (and in this case, “old” means old, not just “from some time ago”) sent me this link this morning. It’s a great idea that everyone should do, regardless of your political affiliation. The site is called “Let’s Say Thanks” and is sponsored by Xerox. It’s simple and free: pick a card from the designs created by kids across the country, select a pre-formatted note (or write your own), and Xerox will print the card and send it to a member of the Armed Services.

I think my favorite might be the one created by Ivan, age 8, from Austin, Texas. It has a picture of a Corvette and says “Be Strong, Be Fast. Like an American muscle car.”

If you have a particularly gifted artist running around, you can also submit a design that they can use.

What are you waiting for? Do it right now and then tell your friends.

Discovering Your Father's Hand

I came across a blog today that you should see. It’s called “My Father’s Hand,” and it’s a collection of drawings that were made over the years by Amanda Wray’s father, a retired serviceman who now suffers from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. She has added commentary to each, offering insight both into the drawings and the personality of the man who made them.

To me, it seems as if the process is opening doors for her to get to know, understand, and love her father even more. I highly recommend you stop by today…

[Visit My Father’s Hand]

This Makes My Heart Ache

Parents, beware. If you’re even remotely aware of the dark twisting nether of emotions coursing through you, feel free to move on. If, on the other hand, you don’t mind the occasional tug on your heart, by all means don’t miss this…

I was driving to work today and caught the end of Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. Today’s poem was called “Little Sisters” and is told from the perspective of a birthday celebration for the one surviving girl of three.

It begins:

This birthday I have reached the age
where my mother bore
the last of her dead daughters—
one that was whisked away
before its first clean cry
could scour the naked room, the later two
a blue that refused to brighten.

and ends:

I reach for her hand and hold it,
but there are spaces here,
tender lacunae we cannot fold away.
Still somewhere the hand-stitched garments,
the gingham quilts, the counting game.
Still the soot-smudged corner
where I crouched beneath the stovepipe
and fingered like a rosary
the small pebbles of their names.

A truly remarkable piece of writing. Read it today and say a prayer for parents and children everywhere who have lost a child, a friend, a little sister or brother.

[Read “Little Sisters”]
[Listen to Garrison read “Little Sisters”]