Thursday, April 9, 2009

Irony and the "Bullet in the Bible"

Some images are tough. Seeing my 7 year old weeping in H's lap tonight was tough. Seeing H ask her to lift her arm over her to hold her was even harder. Not being able to hold your child is well...just unfathomable, which is what this disease pretty much is.

My 9 year old switched places w/ her (from me) and had her turn as well. Sometimes I think it's OK to just kind of let that happen. Not try to distract them with TV or even really discuss the 'elephant in the room'. Just let it flow for a while, burn through some tissues and try and get it out of the system.

When my 11 year old got home from soccer, seeing everyone is a sad state of affairs offered to turn on "Survivor" as a distraction because they all like it. Well, of course this was not the best suggestion in the world, unbeknown, of course to her and created another round of wailing. Irony has its way of making itself known to us every day in some way.

Changing subjects...

So, two disparate works of art collided for me this week. Recently H and I watched Band of Brothers, the HBO series, which is an incredibly well told tale of the Easy Company in the 101st Airborne and their journey from Basic Training through WW II. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. Amazing story and a great reminder of the fact that personal stories are attached to each experience in war, disease or other difficult circumstances that are happening on a large, even global scale. When we learn history about WWII, generally we learn about this or that battle, how many soldiers were killed on either side and who won and who lost, what tactics they used, etc.

Disease is very similar, we tend to view it on a global scale, detached, somewhat horrified, somewhat saddened; that is until it sits in our homes or stares at us in the mirror. I've said this before, pain is personal, and it's real and it sucks. J-bean asked me tonight "Dad, is this just some nightmare we are going to wake up from?"

I wish it was my little friend. I wish it was. The only reason I guess I really know it isn't is because there is so much love in it. I've never had a nightmare with love, much less this much.

The artistic collision happened when I watched "Bullet in a Bible," which is the name of the video production of the Green Day concert I previously mentioned from their tour that was mostly filmed at an outdoor arena in England over two days which was attended by something like 135,000 people. For those of you not familiar, Green Day is sort of a "new" punk band (as punk rock bands go) that has actually been around for about 15 years. Maybe they are the oldest of the new punk bands.

I, knowing something but not much of Green Day, assumed that "Bullet in a Bible" was some sort of flippant commentary in an anti-religious tirade baked into one of their lyrics. I was wrong. In a clip on the vid, the band makes a tour of some eloquently named War museum in England and in this museum, there was actually a Bible with a bullet in it that they viewed and later showed on the video. It looked like the bullet had made its way about 3/4 of the way through the Bible and likely saved the life of the person carrying it for at least a moment.

When I heard Green Day and "Bullet in a Bible" in the same sentence, I was a bit appalled to be honest. I assumed something sinister at it's worst and ironic at it's best. It turned out to be ironic in a way that I didn't expect, which actually was artistically thought provoking and kind of well blended. They had Bible's with shrapnel in them too at the museum, but "Shrapnel in a Bible" just isn't quite as hard-hitting, though I'm sure the carrier was equally thankful.

So, I guess I'm reminded by this that you can't really read too much into things that you don't really know about.

OK, enough of that. Had to change the subject though, from where I started. I have to sleep tonight.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Bill,
    Your blog is so deeply touching. You have provoked me in to much thought this morning, into prayer,and gratitude. I am praying for you, Heidi and your girls now and I will be each day.
    Anne (Hunter) Barnett

  2. Bill,
    Very nicely written post about your family and life. I felt I needed to comment because you should know that reading this post makes me think about a lot of things but specifically what your children are experiencing. Children live in the moment more than we do but they understand more than we give them credit for sometimes. I have 2 kids and your post really hits home and I can't help but tell you I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    May your Easter weekend be full of joy and happiness.
    Your brother by choice,
    Brad Mauvais