Jogging To The Finish Line

100_3970“There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so; one must simply persevere and endure it.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian

He and I drive past the national cemetery this Labor Day morning.  Our talk turns to military funerals.

“Remember I get one,” he says.

“With full honors, the flag, and a bagpipe,” I nod somberly.

“And a 21-gun salute,” he adds.  “Or three, since it is hard to find volunteers for the guns.  Three would suffice.  Less than a proper Minnesota goodbye, but it will do.”

I recall the funeral of an uncle, a war veteran.  The burial would be delayed. The military salute took place outside the church. I stayed inside and counted the shots, holding our fearful daughter tightly so she didn’t cry out. I missed seeing the casket go into the hearse.  I did not…

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