Life/The Tsunami

2004 was the best year of my life. I say this almost every year, but of course none can compare to the year in which one’s first child was born. A and I spent much of the holidays reflecting on the beauty, joy, love, excitement Buddy Boo has brought into our lives.

So how could a year so full of wonder and blessed beauty end in a tragedy beyond comprehension?

Nearly 150,000 are estimated to have been killed by the tsunamis that hit several Asian countries the day after Christmas. You all know this, by now. Now is my first attempt to write a blog since it happened. Not a single word nor a flurry of them strung together could appropriately describe the horrific magnitude of Mother Nature’s latest unleashing.

At first, I was in a state of shock when the early reports of the dead numbered 12,000. They quickly rose to 55,000. 77,000 a few days later. 120,000. 150,000 and counting.

The numbers are numbing. One person dies, and there is a name, a face, a full life history to remember, mourn, celebrate the life that was. We as strangers pay mental respects to that person, and go back to our lives. A dozen die, and we get maybe the names and hometowns. A train derails and we get numbers of the casualties, numbers of the injured and two or, if we are lucky, three personal stories.

150,000 die. How can one appropriately give respects when each and every life deserves to be celebrated, remembered and properly laid to rest? Each of those victims deserves individual prayer/thought/homage.

Many times in my life, I have heard men and women state their decision to not have children was based on the principle that to do so would be unfair to the child. They have either seen such horror in their lives that they don’t want to expose another innocent soul to such suffering. They don’t want to bring a child into a world so rampant with murder, rape, poverty, AIDS, cancer, unexpected loss, because they don’t feel anyone should live in such a horrible, unpredictable world.

I live in that world. We all do. I also live in a world where I believe happiness, love, friendship, beauty, adventure, laughter, growth, exploration and wonder overrun all of the negative possibilities life may bring. I brought my son into this world to show him life’s abundant beauty, and to hopefully raise a son who will choose to see the beauty over the darkness of life. I cannot protect him from all pain or loss, but I can do what I can to help him learn to find his strength when he needs - and others need- it the most.

At times like these, I truly believe children can help us understand what life is all about. Each child is a symbol of the possibility of life, of happiness, of love. My son, in his simple presence, reminds me every day that we are here to LIVE. However long that life may be, we are here to strive to become ourselves so we may contribute to the beauty of the world as best we can, for as long as we can. We all are born with the possibility of a well-lived existence, and from the very beginning, we have already touched at least one soul – that of our mother’s. And because of that, we should also celebrate every single life when a soul passes on. We all have a story to tell, and we all deserve to be remembered. I am positive that each of those men, women and children whose lives were lost this last week, contributed in some positive way to at least one other person on this earth.

To all of you who have lost loved ones or even casual acquaintances in this latest devastation, my heart and my soul are with you. No matter who you are, no matter who they were - I celebrate each and every one of their lives with you tonight, and always.

Peace to all,