It was hard to feel blessed today as I sat at Casey’s grave here in Vacaville, Ca. Sure, a lot of good things have happened in my sphere of influence this year, but the blessings are always hampered by the reason for the blessings.
If Casey had not have been killed in Iraq in George’s imperialistic war for power and wealth, I wouldn’t be on this path. I wish to God, I weren’t on this path. But I am, so here are the blessings I am thankful for this year.
The main blessings that I can thankfully still count are my 3 children: Carly, Andy, and Janey. They are incredibly wonderful children who didn’t ask for the trail that George Bush has set them on by the murder of their oldest brother. They didn’t ask to have a mom who is away most of the time trying to make the world a better place to leave for them. They didn’t ask for it, but they are handling everything with the courage and integrity that are the hallmarks of Sheehan children.
I can look at the events of the past week or so and be thankful that some Democrats are finally displaying a modicum of courage in speaking out against the war and for bringing the troops home from this monstrosity. I hope we can look towards this with the expectation that the Democrats will finally unite against the immoral occupation of Iraq that has put an empty place at the holiday tables of over 2100 American families.
I can also hope against hope that the war criminals in power that advocate and condone torture and use the same chemical weapons against innocent Iraqis that they hypocritically accused Saddam of using against his own people will finally have to resign in disgrace before a mostly complicit Congress has to impeach them. After George and Co. resign in shame someone needs to haul them off to The Hague for war crimes’ trials. That would be something to celebrate.
I am especially thankful for the inspiration that led me to Crawford in August to confront the criminal on his own turf. I am thankful to George, who very predictably, did not meet with me and so sparked the Camp Casey Peace movement. I am extremely appreciative for the thousands of Americans who came out to Camp Casey over our three week miraculous stay and I am also gratified for the millions of citizens who stood behind us with their prayers and support. The peace movement is gaining momentum and we will see our troops come home soon. This fact is overwhelmingly miraculous to me.
I have met so many amazing, loving, and delightful people since I started my quest to end the occupation of Iraq. My Gold Star Families are especially dear to me. In their tragedies they have found a way to bring their horrible grief to the forefront of the American consciousness and help America see the terrible price some of us have had to pay. One of my Gold Star Moms had her son commit suicide two years ago as George was smirkingly serving the plastic turkey. Another dad got in touch with me this week to tell me that they are sadly burying their son on the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year. The Gold Star Families for Peace are handling their losses with grace, courage and integrity. The Bush crime family and their cronies can take lessons from them. This administration full of neocon crooks has ruined the holidays for so many people worldwide. I don’t know how they can choke down their turkey!
I am profoundly grateful for the life of my son Casey Austin. He always lived his life with grace, courage and integrity. His life has been a model for me in my resolve to bring his buddies home alive. Unlike George, Casey never got anything handed to him on a silver platter. Casey put himself on a silver platter and handed his young life over to save the lives of his buddies. I am not grateful for the way he died and the too many others that have tragically come home in flag draped coffins, too. The atrocity has to end before too many more families experience the emptiness of a chair at the family table that once rang with laughter and now rings with sighs and forced, mostly false mirth.
Since Camp Casey, I do have hope that one of these days our holidays will have real joy and laughter again. I have hope that America is ready to take back our rights, freedoms and responsibilities. I have hope that people will be held accountable for the needless death and destruction they have caused the world. I am intensely grateful for the return of hope.
I also have high hopes that we are at a unique point in history where we will be able to change the paradigm of our existence from one of perpetual war and killing to perpetual love and peace. This will be the best blessing that a mom could ever ask for! Maybe next year!