REFLECTIONS: Patriot Guard visit memories still linger

The memories of the sights and sounds of last week’s visit here in Reed City of the Patriot Guard still flow through my mind.

Good memories for me. Many tough memories from the past for many of them. And yet, they — some — said just being here and heading for Cadillac and being a part of all that again and again here and there helps them with the healing.

They have laughed together and they certainly have cried together.

As I wandered about, I laughed with some. Discovered some kin there as well. A man and a little boy, riding together. I said perhaps I knew him. He sure looked like someone I knew.

He asked who I thought he was. I said, “Is your dad’s name Bob?” He said no, but asked me in return, “What is the last name?”

I looked at him and said, “How would I know the last name if I don’t even know the first name.” We laughed. Then I looked at him again and said, “You sure look like Bob Wetherell.”

“That’s my uncle,” he said. I’d just met kin.

And then as I wandered about even a bit more, I watched a man and a woman walking between rows of motorcycles, carrying with them what appeared to be lunch. A few motorcycles back from me, I watched as he sat back on the seat of a bike on my right, and she to my left, then reached and joined hands, bowed their heads and prayed.

It was a Norman Rockwell moment. A quiet breath and a gentle touch on a hot day dotted with tough memories for so many, and yet, they took the time and shared a blessing. I gathered in one as well, just in the sight of the two of them and their pause in a fast-paced world on a fast-paced day. They, too, took the time to take the time.

Here, then, is the moment that touched my heart and brought tears to my own eyes, for I felt blessed to be there in the moment and witness their love not only for one another, but also …

And I recalled then a prayer that has helped me through a good many tough times, and brought me to look for and appreciate the gentle moments of life that are ours for the looking, we often miss: Thank you, God for all you have given me, for all you have taken away, and for all you have left me. Amen.

And amen.