The following is a Memorial Day post that I wrote last year for my old blog:
And so it rained two years in a row on Memorial Day, but this year the rain was less gentle and something more fierce. Hard silvery lines bouncing off the black pavement. Asphalt covered in puddles and rivulets and running water everywhere. The thunder and lightning were violent: windows shuddered, they shaked and rattled and car alarms went off. Everything just a little bit mad, a little bit wild, a little bit out-of-control. As the day went on the rain eased and slowed and stopped and the sun came out, a soggy late afternoon sun peering through a humid and blurry mist.
No parade for me today. I worked at home and waited for the on-call pager to go off, the cell to ring, the hospital to beckon, but it only rained and thundered and “lightning-ed”.
And how many years has it been now?
In 2003, I got an email message in my inbox. An ordinary work day for me, filled with trays and trays of biopsies and phone calls from aggrieved physicians. “The patient is calling. Is the biopsy result ready yet?”
There it was: the photo of a young man in uniform with a flag displayed behind him and a message written below the photograph:
A woman that I’d met a few times – once while we both served as bridesmaids at the Los Angeles wedding of a mutual friend – had sent me an email, one in a long line of messages to everyone in an email list. He looked so young.
He was young.
It’s curious how often during the course of a normal day that I think of you, and of your sister, and of that small stylish wedding before the war where your sister and I helped our friend Kimberly with all the final little wedding details.
RIP, Joe. People that never even met you – never even knew you – miss you.