“To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.
But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and weaknesses— that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.”
-- Pablo Neruda
What has had the most profound effect on me, though, is their families. I will forever be in awe of how they make it work.
How do they watch their husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters and moms and dads sail away into dangerous waters? How do so many women carry and deliver babies without the ones they love the most holding their hand in the some of the hardest, happiest moments of their lives? And worst of all, how do they pick of the pieces and keep on living when war and violence takes the one they love and carves an un-healable hole in their family?
I often think of a woman I interviewed at a Norfolk TIdes (minor league baseball) game last fall. She was there with her two young sons and a newborn baby. One of the players wore a jersey with her husbands name on it. He was Navy Seal, killed in the August helicopter crash. He would never get to meet his beautiful baby girl or watch the two-year-old play baseball for the first time. How does his wife--now his widow--continue to live every day? I have no idea.
So, she's the one I'm thinking of today. Thinking of what she gave up in order to watch over our 'sleep and solitude'.
Ooh one more thing-- I included two pictures of the U.S.S. Wisconsin. I take a lot of pictures of it a lot while I'm out jogging... I think it's such a powerful symbol. The shot at the top and bottom is the same, one in black and white thanks to Instagram. Which do you like more??