Monday, July 19, 2010

365 x 2 / 88 = Carpe Diem

365 x 2 / 88 = Carpe Diem

Two years ago, the memories remain clear
The darkest of days
The solemn words no mother wants to hear
When her son wears a uniform
On behalf of a grateful nation, we regret to inform...

Two years ago, the memories remain clear
The long sleepless nights
A dawn of the heart that never comes
The media reminds us at every station break,
Telling a grateful nation of Canadian hero #88

Two years ago, the memories remain clear
The hard week until he came home
Down the Highway of Heroes
Yellow ribbons on trees, on fences, flags half mast
The gathering of the Clan, the Piper's Lament, a bugle's blast.

Two years ago, the memories remain clear
The turning of seasons without brother and son
The passing of years without lover or friend
Hearts can heal if memory serves with distinction
giving a grateful nation the fruits of Carpe Diem

More years to go, the memories  remain clear
The potential of time for creating change
A dog name Jimmy, inspired young activists,
The simple comfort of a pillow from home
Teaching a great-full nation how much good can come.

By Way of Explanation:
It has been 2 years since the death of my cousin, James Hayward Arnal in Afghanistan.  The life of his immediate family has changed beyond measure, and those of us in the greater family circle also still feel the ripple of his passing.  The memory becomes fresh and new with each soldier killed since James's death - and I think of those families often, even as I think of James' mom - my cousin Wendy, and his brother Andrew. 

As I read some of the posts on the Carpe Diem Facebook page this afternoon, where James is remembered and the work of the foundation he inspired is discussed, the following poem just came.  I share it to direct people to the work of the Carpe Diem Foundation and to remember all those who have still serve our country as men and women in uniform and in harms way - protecting and defending our Canadian ideals of freedom, democracy, and equality for all citizens of this fragile planet.