Life and Death, Duty and Loss

My wife and I started our day by meeting with several family members and friends at a charity breakfast to raise funds for the Gold Star Moms organization. Gold Star Moms have all lost a child who died in service to their country, in this case in Iraq or Afghanistan. I was glad to be at the breakfast to honor and support them. And it saddened me as to the terribly high price paid by their children and the torment, sacrifice, and anguish the parents had had to deal with and were still dealing with every day.

When we returned home, one of the first emails I saw was from our son who is serving in the military. It read:

“Just saw Act of Valor, pretty good action flick and a decent story. There’s “poem” given at the end that I thought was very good, so I found it. The * part was left out of the movie. But I think it’s good advice for life, though its subject is death.”

Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about his religion. Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. *Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise ones turn to fools and robs the spirit of its vision*. When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over againin a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home. The Teaching of Tecumseh.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that right after an event honoring people who have given more than any parent should ever have to give, I come home to a message about how to live a noble life and die a noble death.

“Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.” Sounds like excellent advice to me. Words to live, and die, by.

May your life be long and filled with much happiness, gratitude, love, good health, and kindness.

And may we never forget the great sacrifices made by relatively few for so many.

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About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
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