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Dr. Robert McKenzie
WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE NICE...YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN IT MAY BE GOODBYE
"When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"
He began to smile. "Thatís a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.
"When we said íI wish you enough,í we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory:
" I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough"Hellos" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
He then began to sob and walked away.
**I WISH YOU ALL ENOUGH**
God’s design is for a man and woman to enter into a permanent, intimate relationship with one another. A relationship like Eddie and Mary enjoy. Let me read you a letter that Eddie wrote to Ann Landers:
Dear Ann Landers:
On Aug. 14, 1945, the war ended in the South Pacific. That was the day I met the most beautiful and wonderful woman in the world-my wife. There was a celebration downtown, and I was kissing whoever came along. Then, I kissed Mary. That kiss was special, and I immediately put her name and phone number on a handy piece of paper-a policeman’s traffic ticket, which I put in my wallet.
One day, as I lounged in my barracks, I opened my wallet, and out fell that ticket with Mary’s name on it. I wrote her a letter and the rest is history.
We have been married for 50 years and have three daughters and six grandchildren. Now, my Mary, my beautiful rose, is wilting. She has Alzheimer’s disease, and I am helpless to do anything about it. There are no letters to write, no courtship to win her love, only wonderful memories. I hold her hand, serve her breakfast in bed, hug her and try to hold on. How long this rose will continue to bloom only God knows.
Seeing this disease rob me of this wonderful person is hard, but I am grateful that I have always told Mary how much I loved her. I will never abandon her. She will be with me always until "death do us part."
Wade Hughes, Sr
Life comes in three volumes, volume #1) YESTERDAY, #2) TODAY, #3) TOMORROW. Yesterday is gone, but it pays to visit on Memory Lane. Tomorrow is a good place to dream, but tomorrow may never be? Today is where life should focus.
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg--or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soulís ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You canít tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didnít run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She--or he--is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another--or didnít come back at all.
He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat--but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each otherís backs.
He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor die unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the oceanís sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket--palsied now and aggravatingly slow--who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of his lifeís most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each...
Remarks by President Bush
At Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day Commemoration
Arlington National Cemetery
May 31, 2004
This morning I had the honor of placing a wreath before the Tomb of the Unknowns. This custom is observed every Memorial Day on behalf of the American people as a mark of gratitude and respect.
And when this ceremony is concluded, and all of us have gone on our way, the Honor Guard will keep watch over the Tomb. Every hour of every day, on the coldest nights, in the hardest rain, there is a sentinel of the 3rd U.S. Infantry standing guard. The soldiers entrusted with that duty count it a privilege. And, today, as we reflect on the men and women who have died in the defense of America, all of us count it a privilege to be citizens of the country they served.
In the military tradition, no one is left behind on the field of battle. And our nation is determined to account for all of the missing. The same spirit can be seen in the respect we show to each life laid down for this nation. We receive them in sorrow, and we take them to an honored place to rest. At this and other cemeteries across our country, and in cemeteries abroad where heroes fell, America acknowledges a debt that is beyond our power to repay.
This weekend, we dedicated the World War II Memorial, which will stand forever as a tribute to the generation that fought that war and the more than 400,000 Americans who fell. Some here today can turn their minds back across 60 years and see the face of a buddy who never made it home. You are veterans who have not forgotten your comrades. And America will always honor the achievements and the character of your brave generation.
Through our history, America has gone to war reluctantly, because we have known the costs of war. And the war on terror weíre fighting today has brought great costs of its own. Since the hour this nation was attacked, we have seen the character of the men and women who wear our countryís uniform. In places like Kabul and Kandahar, in Mosul and Baghdad, we have seen their decency and their brave spirit. Because of their fierce courage, America is safer, two terror regimes are gone forever, and more than 50 million souls now live in freedom.
Those who have fought these battles and served this cause can be proud of all they have achieved. And these veterans of battle will carry with them for all their days the memory of the ones who did not live to be called veterans. They will remember young soldiers like Captain Joshua Byers, a West Point man born in South Carolina who died in Iraq. When this son of missionaries was given command of a 120-man combat unit, he wrote this to his parents: "I will give the men everything I have to give. I love them already, just because theyíre mine. I
pray, with all my heart, that I will be able to take every single one of them home safe when we finish our mission here."
Sergeant Major Michael Stack, who was laid to rest at Arlington, wore the uniform for 28 years and is remembered as a soldierís soldier. The sergeant major must have been quite a guy. When he was a young platoon sergeant, the recruits gave him a nickname: No Slack Billy Jack Stack. By all accounts, he was the kind of man you want in charge of a tough situation. And by the account of his mother, he finished his goodbyes with these words:
"Mom, Iím going because I believe in what I am doing. And if I donít come back, we will meet in a better place."
Those who risked their lives on our behalf are often very clear about what matters most in their own lives, and they tell it to those they love. Master Sergeant Kelly Hornbeck, of the Special Forces, was killed in action last January, south of Samarra. To his parents back in Fort Worth, Texas, he wrote this: "I am not afraid, and neither should either of you be -- For I trust in my God and my training, two powerful forces that cannot be fully measured."
After Private First Class Jesse Givens, of Springfield, Missouri was lost last May, his family received a letter he had written to them in the event of his death. He wrote this to his son, Dakota: "Youíve taught me that life isnít so serious, and sometimes you just have to play. You have a big, beautiful heart. Through your life, you need to keep it open and follow it. I will always be there in our park when you dream, so we can play." To his wife, Melissa, Private Givens wrote, "Do me a favor after you tuck the children in -- give them hugs and kisses from me. Go outside and look at the stars and count them. Donít forget to smile." This is the quality of the people in our uniform.
And this is the loss to our nation. Markers on these hills record the names of more than 280,000 men and women. Each was once or still is the most important person in someoneís life. With each loss in war, the world changed forever for the family and friends left behind. Each loss left others to go on, counting the years of separation, and living in the hope of reunion.
Although the burden of grief can become easier to bear, always there is the memory of another time, and the feeling of sadness over an unfinished life. Yet, the completeness of a life is not measured in length only. It is measured in the deeds and commitments that give a life its purpose. And the commitment of these lives was clear to all: They defended our nation, they liberated the oppressed, they served the cause of peace. And all Americans who have known the loss and sadness of war, whether recently or long ago, can know this: The person they love and missed is honored and remembered by the United States of America.
May God bless our country.
"Computers can now keep a man's every transgression recorded in a permanent memory bank, duplicating with complex programming and intricate wiring a feat his wife handles quite well without fuss or fanfare."
God gave us our memories so we might have roses in December.
IF TOMORROW STARTS WITHOUT ME
If tomorrow starts without me,
And Iím not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldnít cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didnít get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know youíll miss me too;
But if tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that Iíd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, Iíd always thought,
I didnít want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
Iíd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heavenís gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From HIs great golden throne,
He said "This is eternity,
And all Iíve promised you."
Today for life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
"Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again."
Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you can hardly catch it going.