The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day in the Eleventh Month
Today, we observe Veterans' Day, or what was formally called, Armistice Day, which commemorates the signing of the Peace Treaty in France between the Allies of World War I and the Germans at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month." After World War II, the name was changed in the United States to Veteran's Day. In addition, it marks what would have been my parents 59 wedding anniversary.
Mom and Dad shortly after their marriage
During this month long look at gratitude, I want to thank my parents, posthumously, for finding each other. While theirs was not always the most harmonious of marriages, there was never any doubt of the love they shared for each other, even to the end of their days. Daddy was Momma's "sailor boy" and Momma was Daddy's "sweetheart."
I am grateful for the lessons these two people taught me. Momma opened my eyes to poetry, literature, art, music and dance. Daddy taught me how to fix things, how to re-purpose old stuff and how to make things from bits of this and that, long before it was a fashion statement to do so. They both, together, taught me to question authority, honor the dead, support those less fortunate and always make room at the table for others.
On their Golden Anniversary - 2002
My Mom and Dad were most definitely part of the 99%. If they were still here in this reality, they would be camped out in Boston with the other Occupy folks. They taught me much of what I know and believe about social justice and peace work.
They were educated in the School of Hard Knocks. The jobs they had served others. They never got further than high school in their training, although both read constantly. They could hold their own with the best of scholars. They lived in the projects of South Boston. They died poor in money, but rich in love of family and friends.
The gratitude I have for my parents is endless. I can never adequately express, nor show how much their crazy love touched my life. But, crazy as it was sometimes, their lives, their love touched so many other lives, not just mine, making the world richer for it.
I miss my parents. They were good people. As the world pauses to remember those that have died for their countries, I will, also, remember my Mom and Dad and give thanks.