Today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. We celebrate his dreams, his visions and the fact that - although he isn't here to see the measure of equality our world now stands for - it exists, because he took a stand.
He died for his visions, his beliefs, and his dreams. In truth- he was killed for those fanicful notions. As Bear says, "The brown people and the white people didn't want to sit together on the bus. So they fighted." And how, my love - and how they did fight.
So, we honor this man on his birthday, but not on his deathday. We don't pause on April 4th, when the weather is warming slightly, the snow starting to melt and our internal spirits rising with the temperature, and say, "Here's to a man who - on some level - knew he was sacrificing his life for his beliefs." No, we recognize him on the day his mother pushed him into the world, unknowingly giving life to a man that would change the lives of millions.
I wonder what the discussion around the nominating committee table for "National Holidays Devoted To An Individual" sounded like. For, as noted in the article, "It is one of three United States federal holidays to commemorate an individual person." I wonder if there was much discussion, or if the decision to honor this man was unanimous. But more than that, I wonder if , as Reagan signed the "holiday into law" in 1983, they even debated which day to celebrate - his birthday or his deathday. I doubt it.
Before losing a child, this line of thinking would never have struck me. Before burying my baby into the earth, it made perfect sense to honor this brave man on his birthday. But now, after years of answering questions with double statements...
"Oh, I'm sorry for your loss. When did she die?"
"Well ...she died on September 6th, but she was born on September 8th."
I can't help but ask the question, if we remember this man for his life actions, why memoralize the first day of his life, instead of his last?
And yet - I suppose this makes me a hypocrite. For annually, we gather at Emma's grave with flowers, balloons, tears, and smiles on September 8th - her birthday. I choose to celebrate the day I birthed her, the day we met her serene and perfect face. I keep very busy on the day I felt "excessive" movement - the day I threw my head back and laughed, a first-time pregnancy naive laugh- as she died within me.
No judgement in this post, for I would have to judge myself right along with the group of men and women who sat in that early-80's room, creating a day to honor a great man.
No - only questions. Well - one question, really.
Regardless of our children's lifespan, 30 years or 3 days, why or why not do we choose to celebrate their birth over their death?
CATCH UP FROM THE START!
TO READ MY STORY FROM THE BEGINNING CLICK HERE THEN READ THE 7 COUNTDOWN POSTS TO EMMA'S EIGHTH BIRTHDAY!