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A Mother's Honor

I happened to drive through Crawford, Texas, this weekend. As I drove through (unbeknownst to me), Cindy Sheehan was shutting down Camp Casey to announce later that she was ready to retire from her public battle for peace.

In our local paper today, columnist Judith McGinnis devoted her column to Sheehan. The title was "Not for Nothing." I hope Sheehan will see this article somehow, and take the title to heart. Indeed, her efforts were "not for nothing." What guts she displayed in the wake of her grief. She was, on occassion, accused of being shrill. Ever heard a roadside bomb? Ever heard a man full of shrapnel cry out when hit? It was not inappropriate for Sheehan to fight shrill with shrill. Bury your child. Live through that, and tell me you have no right to be shrill.

As she closed down Camp Casey, Sheehan told the press: "(My son) Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives." She's right. And she has received death threats for being willing to speak that painful truth on a broad scale.

I admire Sheehan for what she has done, for what she has survived. I would, without question, die for my son. And, sin or not, I would kill for him, too. That says more about my parental instinct than my level of courage. But what Sheehan has done these last two years takes more courage than dying or killing. She steeled herself against the greatest grief known to humankind and dedicated her life to working for a peace that would save the lives of other mothers' sons and daughters. If I could see Cindy in person, I would say this to her, from one mother of a son to another: More important than what you have done for our country, our corrupt politicians, our efforts for peace, you have honored your beautiful, good and brave son, greatly, deeply, fully. No one can take that away from you. Eternity will not let either your honor or his be erased. Go home and rest now, warrioress. Rest well.

Text and Image, copyright 2007 Ysabel de la Rosa, all rights reserved.


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