This week I procrastinated a bit too long for my weekly column. Then yesterday was trumped (no pun intended) by a three hour sitting in a medical lab followed by an almost two hour waiting room session in the hematologist’s office. Still, it was worth it. The platelets problem has almost been resolved after four weeks of intensive medication that apparently will have to be with me for the remainder of my time on earth. Yes, it beats the alternative. Now on to the nephrologist and then the thoracic surgeon. June is going to be quite a month to include our sixty-seventh wedding anniversary.
I will include a bit of history to conserve the space that this Ponderings column has filled for twenty-five years.
Last Friday my wife and I were having our almost daily cup of coffee and locally made pastry at the Coffee Caboose in Tylertown, when a stranger came over and asked if she could give each of us a paper lapel poppy. Since I was familiar with the tradition, I thanked her and promptly asked if she knew the history of the poppies. She began telling me, I told her thank you, then she asked “was this a test?” I sheepishly told her that it was. So many younger people have absolutely no idea what it is about. It certainly isn’t taught in history class. So here is a synopsis.
The poppies were the symbol of Remembrance Day, November 11, to recall the end of World War I, it was also a symbol of hope for peace in the future. Sadly, it did not work out. It was inspired by a poem In Flanders Fields, by Lt. Colonel John McCrea, M.D., May 3, 1915.
In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived. Felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and we loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Maybe we will cover the debt ceiling fiasco next week, if it’s ever resolved.