Mourning, In A Season of Thanks

Baby Candace with Daddy Sam, Winter 1978

For most, Thanksgiving is a holiday full of rich memories of family and friends, while, for many, this time of year is but the beginning of a dark season of despair.

Reasons offered for this general tendency are varied, some researchers cite the increased pressures or unfulfilled expectations of the holiday season, combined with a sudden and dramatic propensity for increased festivities or indulgence.

Maybe it’s a turnabout on the old adage: “You can’t appreciate the sweet without the sour,” that too much of the “sweet” makes the slightest amount of “sour” that much more unbearable.

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Wife, the Universe, & Everything…

Upon this day, in the year of our LORD 1978, my sweet wife Candace Rae Daniels Prosser was born in suburban Dallas. Today is her thirty-first birthday.

We’ve been a couple since the spring months of 1996 and were married during the summer three years later, so I’ve been a participant in no less than thirteen of her birthdays.

As I reflect upon each of these observances my thoughts become episodic, replaying the good times and bad…  as is the course of a marriage. While I can honestly say that I’ve never forgotten my wife’s birthday, I have certainly made my share of blunders.

Such is the due process of a marriage over a span of time, an interwoven tapestry of tranquility and strife.

When I think about those two selfish and headstrong people that said “I do” in a little white church ten years ago, I am awestruck by how far we have come as husband and wife.

Together we have weathered the untimely death of her father and the births of our four living children (with the loss of another one in-between), we have moved thousands of miles and held a number of jobs, we have fought bitterly and forgiven each other countless times. A marriage is nothing if not a labor of love.

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“…a Time for War, a Time for Peace…”

Veterans Day, also called Armistice Day (or Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth), is today.

This day marks the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, in the year of our LORD 1918, when the world celebrated the signing of an armistice that brought an end to a war which was supposed to have been “the war to end all wars” World War I.

I recall once reading a quote from an English historian named Charles A. Repington who wrote, with no shortage of acerbic wit: “We mutually agreed to call it ‘The First World War’ in order to prevent the millennium folk from forgetting that the history of the world was the history of war.”

As a passionate student of human history, as well as someone who seeks to understand from where our civilization has come and to where it is going, I cannot help but to stop and deeply reflect upon the significance of this day.

In many ways, World War I is a line of demarcation between two distinct eras of military history, but I believe there is also a divide culturally between that more agrarian-based Age and our current post-industrial civilization.

Because of the “Great War” new nations emerged and new national identities with them. Old empires and socio-political ideologies crumbled under the oppressive weight of utter irrelevance. Advances in technology burst forth, forcing the outmoded tactics of warfare to take on a new and even more horrifying form.

Give a man a grain of sand, and he will find a way to make it cause Cancer.

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No Problem With Evil

An old friend of mine (I’ll call him “José”) was in town recently, having had some business to attend to at the county courthouse, and he invited me to lunch.

Initially, I resisted. The middle part of the afternoon is my favorite time to work, as the office is a bit quieter during this time than it is during the frenetic mornings.

However, my friend was apparently aware of my inability to refuse a free meal. When he offered to pay, I had to grudgingly accept his invitation.

José works in law and possesses a keen mind with a talent for logical deduction. It sorts well with his choice of vocation.

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