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
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 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.
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…
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”.