Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Life Goes On

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

October 17, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
When Saudi Arabia’s Credibility is Damaged, So is America’s
John Steppling
Before the Law
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
David N. Smith
George Orwell’s Message in a Bottle
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail