Well, it's finally time for a three day weekend where I don't have to use a vacation day. I am, of course, heading to Denver for the extended weekend. As always, may thanks are due to the Rev for watching the puppies. And a shout out to my new lawn boy, Squid. (She's already the house boy, but agreed to take on additional responsibilities for a bump in pay. ;) The pool is due to open this weekend, and there are literally thousands of queers in Denver this weekend for tournaments, meetings, and conferences (oh, my!): volleyball, square dancing, rodeo, darts, and more! I've been looking forward to the start of pool season in Denver, as it signals the start of summer for me. Let the good times roll, as they say!
Memorial Day is also something more to me. For many, it's a time to remember the men and women who defend our country and keep us safe by serving in the military. A chance to remember those who have fallen. I do that today. I think about the many relatives (two uncles, my father, grandparents, cousins...) who have served with honor and distinction. I think about those in Iraq or Afghanistan, and hope they are safe. I mourn for every life lost...and not just American lives, for the record.
I also think about the men and women who are serving in silence because they are GLBT. I think about the almost 60 Arabic translators who've been fired recently because they were "caught" and "discovered" as queer. I think about C and Kate, who've given their whole lives to service. I think about Tim, who was prepared to do the same, but was discharged because of who he loves. And it angers me. There are thousands of GLBT Americans who are willing to put their lives on the line for this country and her citizens. Yet they are told "no" because they might disrupt "unit cohesion." It seems so pointless and discriminatory to me.
Memorial Day is also about remembering all those who have departed this spinning ball of rock. Mom. Matt. Uncle Ed. Each of them touched lives in their own way. They left their mark on the world, and certainly the people around them. I believe that so much of us is made up of our experiences and the people with whom we surround ourselves. They are all a part of me. Though they have passed, they are not gone by any stretch of the imagination. They live on in the stories we share about their lives. They live in the love we hold for them, and the space we will always keep for them in our hearts.
So today, I pause for a moment to simply remember. And say thank you to those who have gone before. Who have taught me. Changed me. Supported me. Inspired me. I say thank you to the Universe for bringing them into my life and teaching me that they will never truly leave my life. And thank you for the people who are still here with us today. May we learn even more and meet many more amazing people.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. - From a headstone in Ireland