Jul 13, 2008

Feb 18, 2008


Let there be peace on Earth always seemed to be one of those hymns sung a lot at Christmas. The song, a simple one, often has brought a smile to my face when I here a young child sing it, but, still, it has always been just another song.

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.
Last Tuesday, I attended the funeral of Mike Lynch. Mike died serving the peaceful community of Kirkwood. He was one of several killed on February 7th in a not-so-peaceful night at Kirkwood City Hall. Senseless, confusing, terrifying...yes, yes, yes.

As I walked into church, I was handed a program containing the hymns for the mass and memorial. I did not think much of the paper I was gripping until I was sitting anxiously for the mass to start. To distract myself from trying to converse in the somber and awkward moments before the mass started, I flipped through the 4 pages looking at the hymns. Most of the hymns, I did not know (surprising since I've spent many hours in Catholic masses singing the same hymns over and over again). The last two, I knew well: Let there be peace on Earth and On Eagle's Wings. On Eagle's Wings didn't surprise me (a funeral favorite, if there is such a thing), but Let there be peace on Earth caught me off-guard, very off-guard.

All night Monday, I was dreading having to hold my tears back during Taps at the burial, but seeing the words, "Let there be peace on Earth" Tuesday morning really choked me up. Usually at a funeral, peace in thoughts of a final resting place is assumed. This funeral, peace was not assumed at all. Peace was needed. Peace was needed in my heart, and in several hearts around me, to help us wrap our heads around what was happening around us and what happened to Mike just days earlier. Peace was needed by the community of Kirkwood...not bickering over racial issues or who to blame for this man's senseless act. Peace on Earth...Peace in Kirkwood was a need...and a simple song helped put it into all of our minds.

Never would I have thought of a more perfect song for the situation. Formerly a take it or leave it Christmas hymn, Let there be peace on Earth put a little peace into each and everyone of the attending's hearts and souls.
Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step i take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemondrops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Maybe Mom was right, it is a curse to know our family, or maybe just a curse to know me...Hell, maybe even to be me.

I have not done too well at putting on my happy face lately. It is not from lack of trying. I want to be happy. I want to make others happy, but I fail. I seem to let down the ones I love the most. I cannot seem to balance all the pieces I want in my life. I want to love and be loved. I want to do everything I can for my friends. I want a successful, enjoyable career. I want to do all the things that make and have made me, well, me.

I tend to hide my emotions, but once I let one slip out, the flood wall breaks and out they all pour out. I don't want to be weak. I don't want to make others around me to think of me as needy or think I am guilting them. I just can't seem to find the happy medium.

I have learned in the last few years through therapy. I need to find my downtime. I need to regroup. When I don't, I feel this weight dragging me down. When I do, I seem to hurt someone or something in my life.

I do not want to be alone in life. I do not want to lose the people I love. I do not want to hurt people.

I try to remember life pre-accident. Things back then didn't seem as complicated. I could go for months with not a single bit of downtime. I never ran out of energy. I didn't need sleep. Now, two evenings in a row away from the house seems to drain me. (Then, I seem to drain the life out the ones I love with my lack of energy.)

I want to move forward with my life. I want to do so with the people in my life. I don't want to lose anymore. I want to be happy. I don't want to live in my hole alone, but right now that seems where I'm destined to be.