I sat in the back of the room listening to Donald Murray share his poetry and fiction about war. As I closed my eyes, I listened to his voice and couldn't help wonder about the contrast of his experience with mine.
Though, generations apart, I had not seen the battle through his eyes, I could somehow come to know the common ground that makes all lives and moments matter. I couldn't help think about the times, the few times that my father had shared about the years that he, too, faced the onslaught of war in the battle at Reva Ridge. These men, our fathers and grandfathers, with courage, faced the storm and in their way allowed the moments of our lives to continue.
This memory led to another as the poetry echoed out into the hall, when, as a teenager, I ventured to the darkened attic one rainy afternoon to unearth the artifacts contained within the wooden chest to find a life worth telling.
Letters written by a woman who would become my mother as she professed her wisdom and love to the man who would become my father. And somehow in this sacred place, in this house that was my home, I felt I had invaded a private moment not meant to be shared, not meant to be remembered, except between the two.
Inside this wooden chest, I picked up the Bronze Star and held it in my hands. As I reflect back on that moment, I realize that my father's life, when weaved into the fabric of my own, becomes that note, which in turn, becomes a song, one life that truly matters.