I visited my grandpa’s grave this morning. A WWII vet, he’s buried just ten minutes from where I live now.
The crew at Fr. Lupton does a fantastic job each Memorial Day, prepping each tombstone with its flag. It is a beautiful sight: endless columns, rows, and diagonal lines of simple white stone standing out among the velvety green. Pops of color from the flowers relatives leave behind to remind you of the beauty you can find within the grief.
As I leaned over my grandpa’s tombstone, I thought of his death. He passed away long before I was born, when my dad was just a boy, and my dad died when I was just a baby. I thought of his body lying below mine, how he came from dust and to dust he returned, how it was his destiny and my eventual ending, too.
But somewhere before we meet that fate, there’s a legacy.
Because the story is about more than a tragedy. More than death. More than a life, even.
It’s about honoring our origins and the stories that got us here, recognizing a legacy, and trailblazing our own.
It’s about stepping into our gifts and sacrificing to improve this world as my grandpa did in WWII and my dad when he worked hard all day and came home to play with his four daughters.
We all receive this beauty from those who have gone before us. And where there is beauty, there will be attacks.
My prayer for all of us today is to recognize the attacks and become who we were meant to be.
(Click here to read a fictional retelling of the legacies left behind by the heroes of 9/11.)