FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Life Goes On

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

As I sautéed locally caught fish for guests recently, I thought of Duke Energy’s coal ash spill into North Carolina’s Dan River and began to feel sick. I imagined that body of water and others across the state where the energy company has 32 coal ash containment ponds. And I visualized the toxic sludge in those ponds as huge bowls of marinade in which the fish swim for however long fish live until they’re caught, filleted, packaged, routed to market, bought by consumers, and prepared for plating.

Okay, my mind is windmill-ing. I’m on my way to that grandson (born last week), eager to hold and snuggle him as I wonder what the world will be like when he’s a teenager, young man, a grown man, a father, a granddad.

I know that mothers and fathers are distraught the world over in areas of warmongering conflict—and also they’re agonizing even in those increasingly rare territories of peace. As parents, we worry. I said to my son, whose life has changed in a way that he’s just now understood, “Wait until this child is old enough to get his driver’s license.”

Once you have a child …

I’m not unique. My thoughts are not different from yours. And I’ve been thinking about the family members of passengers on that missing Malaysian plane. I’m sure you have too. You don’t have to be a parent to be an empath.

I lie in bed and imagine what each of those passengers was doing in the days before boarding. I drink my coffee and think about what I’ve read in the news—debris spotted, that time is slipping away. At any moment, someone I love, someone you love, could make a reservation, make a decision, and then disappear.

Like little Madeleine McCann–in 2007, gone, and now back in the public eye, but she’s never been away from her mother and father’s hearts. Heartbreaking. Heart wrenching.

There is so much angst, so many fears. Most of our apprehensions will never happen. I think of my father’s words, “Why worry about something over which you have no control?” He didn’t. I do.

We read or see it, see the faces of those whose loved ones have been taken from a vacation apartment, from a house, abducted. We see the faces of those whose children have been killed, sacrificed for lies, in imperial incursions that enrich the already wealthy. We see the faces of those whose family members boarded a plane that vanished. We are witness to agony.

But we somehow endure.

We endure and we hope. We demand clean air, clean water, justice for humanity, for our planet. That we evolve to do unto others and to forgive. That the universe somehow purifies itself.

It’s a cliché to say that life goes on. But it does. Tomorrow I’ll hold that grandson in my arms, snuggle his babyness, smell his skin, his hair, and feel an indescribable joy. A friend recently said, “Maybe it’s our grandchildren’s generation that will change the world.”

This little boy has changed mine.

Missy Comley Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Dr. King’s Long Assassination
David Roediger
A House is Not a Hole: (Not) Caring about What Trump Says
George Burchett
How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation
Michael Hudson – Charles Goodhart
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?
Marshall Auerback – Franklin C. Spinney
Boss Tweet’s Generals Already Run the Show
Andrew Levine
Remember, Democrats are Awful Too
James Bovard
Why Ruby Ridge Still Matters
Wilfred Burchett
The Bug Offensive
Brian Cloughley
Now Trump Menaces Pakistan
Ron Jacobs
Whiteness and Working Folks
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Keeper of Crazy Beats: Charlie Haden and Music as a Force of Liberation
Robert Fantina
Palestine and Israeli Recognition
Jan Oberg
The New US Syria “Strategy”, a Recipe For Continued Disaster
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Return of the Repressed
Mel Gurtov
Dubious Partnership: The US and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
Lawrence Davidson
Contextualizing Sexual Harassment
Jeff Berg
Approaching Day Zero
Karl Grossman
Disaster Island
Thomas S. Harrington
What Nerve! In Catalonia They are Once Again Trying to Swear in the Coalition that Won the Most Votes
Pepe Escobar
Rome: A Eulogy
Robert Hunziker
Will Aliens Save Humanity?
Jonah Raskin
“Can’t Put the Pot Genie Back in the Bottle”: An Interview with CAL NORML’s Dale Gieringer
Stepan Hobza
Beckett, Ionesco, and Trump
Joseph Natoli
The ‘Worlding’ of the Party-less
Julia Stein
The Myths of Housing Policy
George Ochenski
Zinke’s Purge at Interior
Christopher Brauchli
How Trump Killed the Asterisk
Rosemary Mason - Colin Todhunter
Corporate Monopolies Will Accelerate the Globalisation of Bad Food, Poor Health and Environmental Catastrophe
Michael J. Sainato
U.S Prisons Are Ending In-Person Visits, Cutting Down On Reading Books
Michael Barker
Blame Game: Carillion or Capitalism?
Binoy Kampmark
The War on Plastic
Cindy Sheehan – Rick Sterling
Peace Should Be Integral to the Women’s March
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
No Foreign Bases!
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Across the Boer Heartland to Pretoria
Joe Emersberger
What’s Going On in Ecuador? An Interview With Wladimir Iza
Clark T. Scott
1918, 1968, 2018: From Debs to Trump
Cesar Chelala
Women Pay a Grievous Price in Congo’s Conflict
Michael Welton
Secondly
Robert Koehler
The Wisdom of Mass Salvation
Seth Sandronsky
Misreading Edu-Reform 
Ann Garrison
Full-Spectrum Arrogance: US Bases Span the Globe
Louis Proyect
Morality Tales on the American Malaise: the Films of Rick Alverson
David Yearsley
Winston and Paddington: Marianelli’s Musical Bears
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail