Cast politics aside. I have always liked Laura Bush. She is a classy lady in every respect. I am in the process of reading her autobiography entitled: Spoken from the Heart. It indeed is a book spoken from the depths of her heart. I am of course learning things about her life that I never knew before. I discovered for instance that her mother gave birth to three children who only survived a short time after birth. Mrs. Bush makes this observation regarding those experiences in her family’s life in the book:
I don’t know if my mother cried for those babies when was out playing in the yard or, rapping on the door of our back-door neighbors over the fence, or darting with the other kids between the gangly, dark limbs and feathery, green leaves of the mesquite bushes that grew over the vacant lot down the street. I don’t know if the tears came when she smoothed the sheets in the linen closet or hung was on the clothesline to grow stiff and dry in the hot Midland wind. Or if she trained her eyes to look away whenever she caught the sight of a baby carriage or glimpsed a big, boisterous family being herded into a wood-paneled station wagon. In those times, in West Texas, in the 1950’s, we did not talk about such things.
I firmly believe that her observation is correct. The friendly and forever hospitable people who comprise the population of West Texas did not talk about such things in the 1950’s and I am not sure that we are much more open about such matters today. But I am of a mind that we should talk openly about losses that we have each experienced. I reminded a lady at church today that her father, who has been deceased for quite some time now, was a fine man. His influence in the Granbury community was significant. And then another event occurred today that caused me to think about our inability to “talk about such things.”
Every year we distribute children’s Bibles that are written on the level of 6-10 years olds to our first graders. It is a neat tradition that we have carried on for 20 years. I am also aware of a mom and dad grieving today. Their child would have been a part of that group of first graders this morning. Their precious son passed away in 2004.
I think it is wrong to overlook that reality. In fact, I think it is offensive to members of that young boy’s family to not “talk about such things.” I ordered a Bible from Amazon that is just like the one that we distributed to 12 first graders this morning. On the inside cover, I am going to inscribe “In Memory of the Children Who Have Gone Before Us…” That Bible will be placed on my credenza in my office, so I can see it every single day. It will become a symbol to me that I should not forget the precious children whom my friends have lost. It will also serve as a daily reminder that we must have the courage to “talk about such things.” I would urge all of us today to allow grieving moms and dads in particular to talk freely and without interruption about their precious children, whom they long to be reunited with someday.