Sheila M. Kelly

Ambivalence Day

On this Remembrance Day, my heart is, as always, filled with ambivalence.


Remembrance Day is a day dedicated to remembering the men and women who, with hope and courage in their hearts, left their homes, their families, and their countries as the rest of us stayed behind to wait and watch and pray. They were our brothers, sisters, sons, daughter, parents, and friends. They fought so that we did not have to. Many did not return. Those who did were changed forever by the atrocities of war… brother killing brother on a battlefield left dripping with the blood of wounding and death.


I particularly remember Ken and Kate Stannix <>, parents of a young man killed in 2007 by a roadside bomb (Improvised Explosive Device) while serving in Afghanistan. I grew up in the same town as Ken and Kate. We walked the same streets of that little town and attended the same church. They are fine, fine people and from attending Chris’ funeral service, I learned what a fine young man he was. How his heart was filled with service. How he cared so deeply about trying to make a difference in the lives of the Afghani people. How he, in fact, took a demotion in the military reserves to actualize what was in his heart.


I also know the wound that is left in the heart of his family. I am choked up right now simply recalling this wound, one multiplied by all the families left behind.


The ambivalence of this Remembrance Day comes from the woundings that occur not only on the battlefields but beyond.

We are all wounded at a very deep level by war.

We carry those wounds in our psyche.


Ambivalence also comes from wishing that we didn’t have to remember at all.

I would love it if wars could cease and there would come a time when we celebrate and remember only peace.


My Enlightened Self knows that war is one of those “foolish thoughts” that we carry in our consciousness. Above and beyond the battlefield, there is no war. There are not even any thoughts of war.


No warring.


That is the world our Enlightened Selves live in.


Will you remember that with me?


Not to deny war but to acknowledge that we are so much more than the wars we stir up.


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