Monday, May 25, 2009

Remember How He Lived

So often over the past month people have dwelled on how Pokey died. Yes he died in combat serving this country. But in doing so they have forgotten how he lived.

Those who knew Pokey have only to take the time to remember who he was. His smile, his laughter, his bizarre sense of humor. But also that he was sensitive caring person who would stop and help the elderly man load his groceries. Who would make the bigger kids stop picking on the littler ones. He had a work ethic that few his age had. When there was a job to be done he pitched in and worked hard till it was done. Pokey hated being idle. He had to be doing something. either goofing off with his friends or volunteering to take on some chore just so he could be doing something. Some would have described him as hyperactive but he wasn't he was just a doer. He had to be doing something. I think it was because he was quite intelligent. Pokey savored life. He valued it in a way not many his age do. Oh he had moments or sadness like we all do but he never allowed those moments to consume him.

When I think of Pokey or others who have given their lives in service of this country I try to think of how they lived. I like to hear the stories of how these young men and women lived their lives. What made them smile, what made them mad. Who they were and how they touched the lives of people around them.

It is a wonderful thing to know their names and remember thier sacrfice. But it is a better thing to remember how they lived and let that inspire you.

Pokey lived with honor, courage, and hunger for knowledge and laughter.


A Soldier's Mother said...

This is wonderful advice. I took it when I went to visit the family of a soldier who had just been killed in action in Israel a few weeks ago. When I got there, the tables were filled with pictures of a beautiful, smiling boy. Everyone was telling the parents stories of how they had met Noam, what they knew about him. I was saddened that I had never met him and couldn't add anything, but I could listen. That's what you'd told me to do - and I did. His parents told me stories about him - funny, wonderful stories. He was a medic. A kid came in complaining about his knees hurting. Noam put some anti-fungal cream on the boy's knees and told him it was a special cream that would help but that the army didn't have a lot of it, so he shouldn't tell anyone; and he held the tube so the boy couldn't see what it was. A few hours later, the boy came to tell Noam how wonderfully well it worked! And Noam, who could have made fun of the boy and embarrassed him...simply smiled. You are so they died is so much less than how they lived and who they were. Thank you for sharing Micheal with us. I feel funny calling him Pokey - it's like a name for his family, for those who love him...but thank you for sharing him with us.

WOTN said...

Thank you Angelia for sharing Pokey with us. Thank you for telling the story of his life.

Of all the news we publish, the most difficult are the casualties. I wish we had the stories of life to report rather than just the final details.

It is important that we celebrate their lives and we can only do that by the stories told by those that knew these brave men and women that traveled to distant lands, lived in austere conditions, to defend the Freedoms of Our People and Others, so that we need not know the trials they face.

Thank You for Sharing the Stories of Pokey's Life.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 06/05/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

AFSister said...

I got here today via David Maron's Thunder Run... and have been fighting off the tears reading through the archives. I'll have to come read more, when I'm not at work, and don't have to explain the sad look on my face, which is sometimes broken by a grin, a nod, and a giggle.

I've met plenty of Blue Star Moms, but only a couple Gold Star, plus a Gold Star Dad. Your post today reminds me of the Dad I met.

It was 2 years ago, in April, 2007. I was attending the annual Matt Maupin Scholarship Dinner and took a break from the entertainment to sneak a peek at the items on display in the lobby. Along one side was a row of tables adorned with photos and memorabelia from Gold Star families. One was a Cav soldier. His 8 x 10 framed photo had a coin draped over it. I was looking at the coin when a man approached me and simply said "That's my boy." I turned, with fresh tears sprouting, and said "I'm so sorry for your loss. Tell me about him- do you mind?"

I wasn't sure if he wanted to talk, but, like you, he didn't mind telling all about his son's life, death, and the children he left behind- including the "baby who cried during the ceremony tonight- sorry about that." I told him I didn't even notice the crying... because we were ALL crying.

It's something I'll never forget. Thank you for sharing your memories of Michael, and for your wisdom.

Bill Beavers said...

Of course I didn't know "Pokey" so my comment is to you for your honoring him with such wonderful words. And yes, some in high places would like us to forget the troops but America will never forget them, past and present. Keep up the good work with this wonderful blog. All the best.