Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More travel and a poem from my father

2008 has been a strange year filled with many unexpected ups and downs. While I find the year's end much sweeter than its beginning, I still wouldn't alter the course of the past 12 months for any reason -- too much was learned and gained. I will share more about my thoughts on the subject in the beginning of 2009. Until then, let me share a few more musings from the end days of 2008.

As many of you know, my grandfather died last month, causing great reflection in my family. My father, for example, turned to poetry to remember my grandfather, and I'd like to share his effort here. Thanks, Dad.

The flag covered casket was in the hearse.
The cars of family and friends were waiting in the parking lot with lights on.
Two police motorcycles roared their engines and the single police car idled its own engine.
This was for me. What an honor!
How many times I led funeral processions without thinking of my own.

What you did not see there was a third police motorcycle --
The rider was "Eddie Mac".
I led the funeral procession.
I stopped the traffic.
I made the route safe.
I got the job done.

Wow, how I missed the feel of the big powerful engine under my body --
The wind in my face, rain spitting down on me, the chill in the air --
it was the type of day that made it all worth the honor.

I know this route as I drove it many times before.
How I missed it; this is what I longed for.
God grant me one final ride.
Let me be king of the road just one more time.

You answered my prayers and I led my funeral procession to my final resting place.
As I got off my Police Harley Davidson motorcycle,
suddenly I was 17 and a Navy sailor in uniform.
I saluted the Military Honor Guard and they saluted me back for a job well done.
I stood at attention, proud to have served.
So much I have seen, but not all the stories were told.

The rifle volley reminded me of the battles and comrades that fell in harm's way;
I see them again;
they have waited for me as those before them.

As taps played, I saluted and then the voice came:
"Petty Officer First Class Edward J. McGannon,
you are now relieved of duties.
WELCOME HOME, Sailor."

***

So, in the closing days of 2008, I find myself headed back out on another adventure -- this time to a small Pacific Ocean isle where I hope to surf and sun and meditate and just be . 'Tis rather exciting. My grandfather once spent time there, so it'll be nice to spend time there, too. I mention this because I likely will not post anything on my site until 2009!

Until then, enjoy the holiday season and best wishes for the New Year.

4 comments:

Yong said...

I never knew my own grandfather, although I dream about him sometimes. Thanks for sharing your father's poem. --Yong

Kelly McGannon said...

Thanks, Yong. Aren't dreams wonderful this way? I, too, dream of my grandfather. Kel

EE said...

Gati,
I just read your and your Dad's amazing tribute to your grandfather. With your writing, your vision, and your very existance... I know that you have made him so very proud. Keep well, Kel. Missing you from MN---
Marvin K. and the E-Gati's

Kelly McGannon said...

Thanks, Gati. This means a lot. I'm missing you and Mad, too! With love, Kel