The Contrast of Life

Good Evening Friends!

An escape for the weekend with family and friends was just the fresh start I needed. But what good is a blog if there’s not a bit of something to talk about? To contemplate?

On one hand….

I had the best time on my escape ski weekend with family and friends. I don’t ski, but I am out there with my kids and grandkids helping them to learn, sitting around the fire drinking wine and talking and telling stories, playing card games, and competing in our annual cooking competition. All in all it’s lots of love and lots of memories and lots of good feelings.

On the other hand…

Last night I watched the movie “A Bridge Too Far” about Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands during World War II. It wasn’t my choice, as I am not a fan of war movies, but my significant other had never seen it and so it went.

On the one hand….

Over the weekend I helped my grandson learn to ski a little, then watched him go tubing for the first time. The look of joy and anticipation and fear all mingled to make him overly adorable and huggable.

On the other hand…

The movie was about the failed attempt of Allied Forces to secure several bridges in the Netherlands to prevent the Germans from overtaking the country.

On the one hand….

My weekend was filled with laughter, love, and a sense of togetherness we have shared at the same event for over 15 years. It was great.

On the other hand….

I had never heard of this failed attempt to secure these bridges until this movie. Not so great.

On the one hand….

It was a weekend of renewal, of camaraderie, and of watching our children and grandchildren grow closer.

On the other hand….

According to Wikipedia, there were approximately 500 Dutch civilian causalities, 11,800-13,200 Second Army and I Airborne Corps casualties, 3,500-3,900 XVIII Airborne Corps casualties, and 15,000-17,200 German casualties from this siege. 30,000+ to 34,800 lives lost in one attempt.

On the other hand….

The biggest conflict we had this weekend is when “bad grandma Claudia” stopped the two-year-old’s chip supply to make her wait until dinner. Said grandchild flopped on the floor and cried.

On the other hand….

Two groups of human beings shot and bombed and maimed each other so that one person could have extreme power over others.

How do you reconcile one with the other?

I know my dad suffered from PSTD from World War II. He never talked about it to us kids, but you could just see in his reminiscences, in his eyes and his nightmares. There are others who to this day can only say they did what they had to do for their country.

In that one attempt alone thirty thousand people lost their lives, their futures.

How can you compare that to reading a book to a grandchild? To feeding each other chips or a heart-felt hug from your grown up kids?

How can you compare the beauty of life to the tragedy of war and death?

I didn’t write this blog to debate the merits of war and peace, nor the cosmic meaning of life and death.

But like tornadoes, how can such terrible situations hit one family and skip over the next two and land on the fourth? How can people follow mindless – or should I say mindFUL – leaders who insist on the annihilation of entire civilizations? Entire nationalities or religions or classes of people?

After all is said and done, how can the inhabitants of Earth not stop the mindless repetitive destruction of civilizations over and over again for the mere thrill of domination?

Ha… look at me. I should have taken a humanities course or something.

I guess that once in a while I feel guilty being so happy when others were never given that chance.

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Contrast of Life

  1. It seems those intent on running the world do so because they know there are others who will fight so everyone is able to live free(to some extent) & have the opportunity of choice. That & I s’pose they just can’t live w/o causing tragedy which causes heartbreak which in turn seems to make those causing it happy. I wonder if they would feel the same enjoyment if all their family & friends were blown into bits??

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    1. I think this idea of being boss of the world is a stupid idea anyway. The generals who designed the bridge attacks faced inside fighting, slow or inaccurate information, and some faulty equipment. Wanted to save or take one too many bridges. Imagine many Dutch parents lost their cuddle bugs too. Reality is different for each and every one of us. Thank you for sharing!

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