Just returned late last night from a road trip, taking my father in law's ashes to his family plot. We said Kaddish as requested- in English; none of us were willing to attempt Hebrew or Yiddish. It wasn't the same. I found myself wondering if the difference was merely that I understood the words in English, or if there was actually something about the sound combinations in Hebrew that evoke emotions the words alone do not? Is there a prayer equivalent to scat singing?
I thought of the public memorial a month ago. Following his wishes, we did not have a Navy honor guard, nor list the many, many honors and honorifics he earned over the years, military, academic, and professional. I thought of that again on the way back to the highway, seeing gang sign spraypainted on a wall we drove past, and thought of how strange the ways of man can be. Phil, who did so much for so many for so long, enforced his modesty in his last wishes; while others, whose highest sacrifice for their fellow man to date has been to breath, and possibly trap some pollutants that were fouling the air, need recognition so badly.
We attended another memorial this weekend- for a horse. If you think that's silly, I feel sorry for you. There were more than fifty people there; Bask Elect touched many lives very deeply.
Enough for thoughtful and introspective- I'll be back to obnoxious by tomorrow.