Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spring Will Come

Issues of life and death have been on the brain frequently as of late.

On the same day in mid-December, my dad’s oldest brother and my paternal grandfather’s youngest brother both passed away following long illnesses. I traveled home to Pennsylvania to attend their funeral services.

December also saw the death of Steve Cady. Steve and I worked on many of the same political campaigns in Washington County, PA, between 2003 and 2007. We didn't agree on some of the issues. But, he was passionate about good government. And Steve never said no when we needed help in the party office or on the campaign trail.

On New Year’s Day, Maryanne Dixon died at the young age of 58. Maryanne was the mother of a high school friend and was good friend to some members of my family. She was a kind and gentle woman who died far too early.

In the last week of December and first week of January, I took part in two on-line debates (one on Twitter; one on my friend’s Facebook wall) about abortion. In both debates, I tried to bring to the conversation around to the question of when human life begins. I failed in both instances.

Like many Americans, I spent a good deal of last Saturday watching the news of the horrible shooting in Tucson, Arizona. And, probably like many, I have spent the week trying to get my brain around how a human being could do such a thing – and pondering what steps need to be taken to prevent gun violence, especially by the mentally unstable.

And, finally, we come to today – the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that took the lives of hundreds of thousands. The cry of “Why?” continues to ring out.

As a person of faith, I do not believe that our existence is over when our bodies no longer breathe and pump blood. I believe in the soul and its future. And yet, the loss of so much earthly life at one time weighs heavily on the brain.

What is all this about? What is the plan, God?

It snowed last night – about nine inches here in New York. It’s cold and dead outside, too. Sometimes the wind blows so hard that it hurts.

But, personal experience and science remind us that spring will come.

In March, I am moving to a new neighborhood. In May, God-willing, I will have another new niece or nephew.

New life will be born. And we will not forget the life that has passed.

The photo above, taken this morning in NYC's Washington Square Park, is from here.

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