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Browsing Tag: army

No, Seriously, I Swear We’re Fun to Hang Out With

Note: This post might be troubling for some readers who’ve dealt with violence to or the loss of a loved one.  It was Friday, and I’d just picked up the girls from school. They’d asked what our plans were for the weekend. I’d just told them that, after Saoirse’s soccer game, we were going to visit their granddad’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery. Quinlan asked me what a cemetery was (a question she asks me at least four times a year, and four times a year I struggle to answer it in a way that doesn’t yield fifty more questions. Four times a year, I fail miserably). I told her that’s where we bury the bodies of people after they died, and just when I felt like I had the answer good and set, she changed the conversation up on me. “Mom?” Quinlan was in the back seat of the minivan beside her sister, buckled in, sitting on her gray-and-pink booster. We were stopped at a light in the middle of town and I’d been idly wondering if…

U2 and Love and Death and Hope

I once had a friend I’d like to tell you about. Actually, he was my brother Paul’s friend–one of his best–and, in that cool space of time in my and my brother’s late teens and early twenties, when a lot of our interests and friends mingled and bounced off of each other, when we hurtled back and forth to each other’s cities in South Orange and Philly and Carlisle and Baltimore, I guess his friend was mine, too. I only knew him for a little while–and certainly not as well as my brother did–but the memories of this friend have stuck with me for years. I have snippets of memories of him: the way all seven of his siblings jumped on him when he came home, for instance: they actually came RUNNING out of rooms and through doorways and leapt on him in absolute excitement to see him. The way he was unapologetically enthusiastic in his faith is something that made a huge imprint. I remember talking with him one day–we were sitting in my ancient ’88 Accord outside a restaurant…