Saturday, January 2, 2016

When You Were Young...

Being essentially a shallow, disconnected asshole affords me a considerable tactical advantage over most of the people I know.  I have an exceptionally limited emotional investment in what goes on in the world around me.  So limited in fact that when I do connect with something emotionally, the effect of that connection is usually pretty substantial. 

NYPD Detective and Air National Guard Sergeant Joseph Lemm (a/k/a "Superman") was one of six American service members killed in Afghanistan on December 21, 2015 by a suicide bomber. This tour of duty in Afghanistan was his second.  He also served a tour in Iraq.  When he was not serving his nation overseas, Joseph Lemm was serving the people of New York City as a decorated member of the NYPD.  

Joseph Lemm was just forty-five years young when he was killed last month.  Left to mourn his loss are his wife, Christine, seventeen-year-old daughter Brooke, and four-year-old son Ryan.  On Wednesday, nine days after his death, Joseph Lemm was laid to rest.  Outside of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, where his funeral mass was held, young Ryan Lemm did what I submit is a singularly extraordinary thing.  

Looking every inch like a little man as opposed to a boy of just four, wearing his dark-blue suit adorned with Dad's gold shield and complemented by his red tie, Ryan Lemm became a face for the ages.  And in the process of doing so, he completely shattered the charcoal briquette in my chest that masquerades as a heart.  

Then again, if the image of Ryan Lemm saluting his father's flag-draped casket does not break your heart at least a little, then you might want to consider asking the Wizard for a new one.   On that day, four-year-old Ryan Lemm was braver than I have ever been on any single day of my life.  An extraordinary, brave little boy.  

Evidence, no doubt, of the importance of the geographical proximity between apples and trees. 

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