Candles Don’t Work
I went to yoga class today – Memorial Day – and the instructor decided to make a big show of lighting candles.
“I’m going to light these two candles. This one is for all of the troops who don’t make it home. And this one is for all the those who died in service….firemen, police officers…” She trailed off as she lit the second candle.
And it took all I had not to scream at her, “Candles don’t mean SHIT. It does not change a fucking thing.”
Because, it doesn’t. You’re sitting there, front and center, on a hard folding chair listening to Taps on the trumpet. The cloudless sky is an amazing blue and it’s as if God himself created the perfect day for this event. Then, he walks up to you. He bends over, and hands you a flag, folded into a triangle. He is wearing gloves. Your eyes tear, and you focus on the shiny brass buttons. Everyone is looking at you and you’re trying to be strong, but you’re starting to get it… you’re NEVER going to see him, ever again. He is dead. He’s NEVER coming back. All you have left that wasn’t incinerated in the explosion are the memories in your head and a few Kodak photos. And the greeting message on his cell phone that you keep calling over and over and over again, just to hear his voice. That’s what you have.
You will never have his advice. His laughter. Him yelling at you when you do something really stupid. His kindness. You will, for the rest of your life, say this: “I really wish Dad were here right now. ”
And lighting some fucking candles do not make a goddamn bit of difference.