A River of Freedom

I’ve always loved the form of poetry called the Haiku.  the poem is only one verse and is normally three lines long.  I’ve always thought that to really be memorable, a poem or song or speech needs to be fairly short, otherwise the listener or reader will be bombarded with too much information.

There has been much written about Taps or “Day is Done” which is played at military funerals.  It consist of 24 notes and it normally takes a little less than a minute to play on the trumpet.  I understand the power of this tune as I am a church choir director and have witnessed the emotional release that occurs at a grave site or funeral when it it played.  We have some dear friends, Susan and Larry Wiseman whom we have actually never met (only though this blog)—Larry is a bugler for Bugles Across America and Susan writes tribute songs to our wounded and fallen warriors.  Both Susan’s and Larry’s blogs can be found in the “Blogs I Read” widget of Sam’s blog.

Susan and Larry were in Washington D.C. this past memorial day as they were asked by the White House Commission on Remembrance to participate in the national moment of remembrance ceremony at the WW II Memorial.   While they were there, Susan met a gentleman who asked if she could “do something” with a poem that he had been carrying around in his wallet for many years (“A Warriors Farewell”) by USAF (Ret) Robert Joseph).  The poem inspired Susan to write the song “A River of Freedom”.  It isn’t a Haiku, but it is only one verse long and is exactly as long as it needs to be to make a very powerful point that all American’s need to ponder.  Below the poem is the video that Susan made where, after much prayer, became the poem-tone, ‘A River of Freedom”.

A River of Freedom ” – ( Taps )

There’s a river … that floods … my soul.
And, that … ” River of Freedom ”
Carries … my blood,
And, of those … throughout all time
Who, for Freedom
Gave their blood … Laid their lives … on the line.

words and music by Susan Wiseman
http://www.thetributelady.com

” A River of Freedom ” – WW II Memorial – Memorial Day 2008

a river of freedom_myspace video_by susan wiseman

Sam’s medical status:

Good Morning All,

When the boys were young and opted to play little league, (mostly at my urging) it proved to be an effort in futility. The coaches were indifferent, largely there to ensure their own son’s playing time regardless of skill; the umpires caustic, and who could blame them? Ha! But the absolute worst were the fans, which were mainly parents of the other players. Loud, obnoxious and generally a nuisance to watching and supporting my own sons. I came so close to a showdown more than once; and although I didn’t have the Lord guiding my steps, I did have a sense of decorum that told me how awful it would be to scrap in front of the kids with another player’s Dad. Ha! Marty & Donny were older and could pay attention, but Sam was hilarious. I remember him standing out in left field, with his glove on his head, visiting with the center fielder. When the ball was hit there once and he had to scramble after it, I asked him what he was doing? He said and I’ll never forget it, “He was trying to decide what flavor snow-cone he would have after the game.” Ha! My boy…

After that I decided that an individual sport was probably a good idea and we looked into martial arts. We found our own Mr Miaggi, the founder of a style he had invented and they were off. They all seemed to love it and maybe out of necessity, since he was the youngest, or it was just timing that Sam seemed to have a special affinity for it. He wanted to be called “Chuck” in honor of Chuck Norris, and introduced himself around Sunday School as Chuck. His older brothers kind of spoiled that as they started calling him “Up-Chuck” which used to infuriate him. As they grew up tattoos and piercing’s were all the rage and they asked; but I said absolutely not until they were 18 as far as visiting sam and erin_8_31_08 memorial day weekend the tattoos go, and threatened forcible removal of any metal in the face. Ha! It never came to that, but Sam’s 1st tattoo was a martial arts tat on his back. It looked good, but what wouldn’t on a rippled muscled back of an 18 year old? I think when he was 17 or 18 he developed an interest in swordsmanship. He began to take lessons from one of only two dojos in Sacramento that taught the art of swords. I said you’re studying what? How on earth will that help you with anything?  He wasn’t dissuaded by my lack of enthusiasm and he began to practice. He had those huge midnight blue pants with the balloon like legs and wore a conventional Karate tunic. He looked and was impressive. He was graceful and being long and lean, granted him the ability of his chosen sport. Usually he practiced with a wooden Samurai sword, but one day was showing off in our living room with the real McCoy. As he went through his routine, he misjudged the height of the ceiling and put a 2 inch gash in the plaster. He looked sheepish as I kind of stared up at the potential repair. His mother had heard it and came into the living room to see what damage had occurred. Sam began to tell us why his move had failed as if knowing would make it better. He was showing us what he should have done and as he went through the routine one more time; he again lodged the sword in the ceiling, not two inches from the original slice. The look on his face was priceless, and the look on his Mother’s face was even more memorable.  Kelley and I roared with laughter and as I saw the smile creep across his face, I knew this would be one for the memory books.

After that it was outside only, and I remember him being proud of the sharpness of his blade; well that brings me to the whole point of this story and Sam with swords. St Paul likens the Word of God to a “double edged sword” so sharp that it can separate the marrow from the bone…Not being a medical professional does not mean that I do not know that marrow is an ingredient of bone and cannot be shaved away with a blade; but the Word of God can do it. I find extreme irony in the fact that when Sam is in desperate need of healing that a “Sword” will be the instrument of his healing. Yeah; God’s Word. The gospels also state that Jesus is the Word, thereby becoming that double edged sword for Sam…Jesus will not misjudge the target, but will deliver the final blow just at the right time and in the right place to fulfill his promise for healing. Since it is in “The Word” and is in the form of a promise; and God never, ever lies; then it is a done deal…and we look forward to it’s completion.

Sam&ErinMilitaryBall I’m including no picture this week [see Eric’s note below and mine too about the pictures] as Sam was having a challenging day on Friday. He was experiencing pain when I arrived and found only comfort with a close snuggle and kisses from Erin. He was having pain from a bothersome Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Erin thought he was suffering from shoulder and neck pain for how he had been sleeping with his head to the side. We prayed for him and he seemed more relaxed and went to sleep. Erin and I went to lunch and I dropped her off back at the hospital and headed for work. On my way home she called and said someone wants to talk to you. Sam said…”Hi Daaad!” “I love you Daaad!” Yeah, he had awakened refreshed, alert, and talkative. It made my day and the rest of the way home I thanked God for his mercies to Sam, Erin, me and all the rest of the people involved in his recovery. That includes each and every one of you…

Much love,
Eric

You know; maybe a picture of Sam and Erin in a better time…if you’ve already seen it; bear with me for those that haven’t…

Note: The first picture of Sam and Erin was taken yesterday 8/31/08 when my friend Bernadine and I visited Sam and Erin.  Eric was in Kentfield visiting on Friday.  Sam was feeling a little better and Bernadine managed to get this wonderful shot of Sam “connecting” with Erin.  At the end of our visit, Sam gave out a loud and clear, “Bye Bern”.

Tony

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7 Responses to A River of Freedom

  1. Wendy says:

    Hello Erin & Sam!
    I hope you are having a good week so far. You both have inspired my heart and my faith so much. I want to let you know I have been praying for you both every day and I stand firmly in faith with you for Sam and for all of your needs to be met in Christ Jesus.
    God has soooo put you two on my heart. I don’t know who should get the bigger medal. Sam for serving our country, sustaining a horrendous injury, perservering in healing and fighting for his health. I could not be more proud of him. Or Erin, who is such a beautiful testament of faithfulness, commitment, inner beauty and strength; who daily supports, encourages, perservers and drives Sam. I couldn’t be more proud of her either.
    You have impacted and touched my life in such a way….I have yet to be able to put it into words for you.
    God has put on my heart to send a little care package your way, a little something to hopefully brighten your week. You will probably get it next week. I will be sending it by way of Eric, who is an outstanding great man of faith. He, too, has impacted my life and my faith walk, to hear the way he prays for and speaks of you both…. He has such love….way more than love, for both of you.
    God Bless you and keep you both this day. May you feel the comfort of the Father and Jesus Christ as I ask their loving arms to be wrapped around you. I pray the Holy Spirit infuse you both with peace, comfort, love, joy, healing and every other thing you need this day. While I don’t know you, I have a tremendous love for you both, given me by God the Father.
    Have a Beautiful Day, surrounded by His love and His Glory.
    Blessings and Prayers for you, both!
    Wendy

  2. Lori Peoria says:

    Sam and Erin are as beautiful today as they were in the formal military picture!

  3. Wendy says:

    I am praying for you both every day, several times a day. God has put in my heart this day to pray that the Holy Spirit minister to you, pouring His oil of gladness and joy over you, that you sense His strength, peace, love, hope, joy and faithfulness envelope your whole beings. He will never leave you or forsake you. Keep pressing on, for in due time….you will reap a harvest! God promises this for you. I’m praying you feel the love and comfort of Jesus, wrapping His loving arms around you , holding you so closely…..I see Him holding you both individually, as well as in a great big hug, holding the both of you together. God bless you and keep you today!
    Wendy
    PS ALL of your pictures are so beautifully touching! You are both gorgeous!

  4. Steve Marquez says:

    Hey guys! were here in Okinawa now finally got internet up and running! Just dropping by to say were always thinking of you guys. We love and miss you guys!

  5. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hey there Sam, Erin & Families,

    Stopping on by to let you all know that you’re in my thoughts and my prayers every single day. And yep, you ALWAYS will be! This was a great story, Eric, and I will admit worth a few chuckles picturing Sam with the glove on his head, thinking about sno-cones! Sort of reminded me of my daughter Gina who has been in karate for almost 3 years now (she’s 7). She absolutely loves karate. This summer I signed her up for softball for the first time. Although she claimed she was interested when asked, it never failed that every 10-15 minutes during a game or practice she would ask if it was time to go home! So she’s back to 100% karate, loving it, and now she’s using the bow staff and becoming more and more dangerous every day! 🙂

    Anyhoo – I just wanted to stop by and say HEY to all of you and to let you know that thoughts, prayers, support and load upon load of Angel Hugs are always on their way to you all. Hope you all have a great week, and big giant hugs to you all! God bless you Sam, Erin and your families. You guys ROCK!!! 🙂

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

  6. A great blog with some serious motivational material. It’s good to see like minded people out there wholove to spread the word. Take a look at my blog and give me some feedback if you can. All helps!!

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