It’s a good day. I am sitting here on my couch, alternating between reading and binge watching back episodes of a TV show. My dog is lying beside me and sighs periodically. I interpret that to say that he is having a good day, too.
The book I’m reading is about World War II. There is such a disconnect between my good day and the daily events told of soldiers, civilians, and those imprisoned and tortured. I don’t know what it’s like to keep the curtains closed so my home won’t be a target. I don’t know what it’s like to hear rumors that soldiers will storm into my home at night and throw me out, kill me, or something even more horrific in that spectrum. Or, for those rumors to come true. I don’t know what it’s like to live in a heightened state of fear every hour of every day for years.
The TV show I’m watching is a medical drama. I am blessed with good health and an able body. I don’t know what it’s like to have a lab test change my life. I don’t know what it’s like to have my ability to walk stolen by someone else’s mistake. I don’t know what it’s like to put off seeing the doctor then being thrown into my worst fear: hearing the words “you have cancer”.
“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.”
(From “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae)
We celebrated Memorial Day recently. Those who we remember on that day probably also had many good days like the one I described. They lived, they felt dawn and sunset glow. Until they were called to serve, they had no reason to doubt the expectation of a long lifetime or a love-filled life. They had no way of imagining the horrors they would see, hear, smell, and feel. There are so many others who are still walking this earth who have experienced each of the tragedies I’ve mentioned above, except for a physical death.
To bring this back to the good around me, I see it as a waste to those who lie in Flanders or other wartime cemeteries when I allow small or temporary problems to cause a bad day. If I enter each day with the expectation it will be problem-free, I set myself up for any stress I experience. No matter how bad things are in my usual life, I am far more blessed than so many others who awake each day with a question of survival. May I take each day of freedom and good health as a gift.