As a deadline looms, I have but two options. I can pen my thoughts about the tragic events of this past week and expose my ignorance of Russian history, Ukraine’s geography, and the political quilt that covers them. Or resort to creating an article about nothing, pretending I’m not affected by the gaping hole in the world.
As inelegant as ignorance can be, inauthenticity burns a wound Band-Aids do not fit.
Leaving the more profound debates of war, provocation, and the moral compass of all those tasked with choices my nightmares have yet to visit, I only express a mother’s feelings from the safety of my country where I still have the freedom to express my thoughts.
Rarely do history lessons take a seat in my mind’s auditorium; yet, this week, I find a packed house. Snippets of legendary men and women walking through the fire of battle as recounted by my college professor ring out as reconciliation of what I see and what I know fails.
The images of destruction play out like a movie, written and produced to evoke a response, promote thought and reveal the gambit of human emotion. It isn’t a movie. Mothers are letting go of hands, fathers letting go of mothers, and nights drag on with no promise of morning. Modern-day connectivity prevents blissful dismissal. We are watching a war in real-time. No matter how thick my blanket of distance, I still feel the cold.
Just as I tell my daughter in times of tragedy, I look for the helpers. If all that I have read is true, the helpers have risen seemingly out of dust under the leadership of an extraordinarily ordinary man. It is true that God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called. Amid the ashes of a tyrannical march rises not one phoenix, but an odyssey forming a coalition of passion, pride, and patriotism that causes the entire world to take notice and ask questions of our character.
Mark Twain once said that God created war so that Americans would learn geography. We are learning far more. No longer are heroes hidden in typeface on brittle pages in history books. They are waking as mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters to stand for what they feel is right, defending what they believe to be theirs, and laying down their lives for strangers. Their patriotism is so emphatic that it weaponizes their empty hands. Their belief in their neighbors, compatriots, and leaders gives them strength in times of imminent uncertainty.
I can not articulate the facts leading to this war, nor can I pretend to be informed of all that has led to this historical moment. I don’t need well-dressed pundits to tell me I am witnessing history and watching legends rise, some only to fall.
I now know the capital of Ukraine. I now know the name of Ukraine’s president. More importantly, I now see the heart of Ukraine, a country otherwise unknown to those untouched by war. It causes me to remember our nation’s heroes, extraordinarily ordinary men and women who did the unthinkable so that I may sit here and freely share what I think. Long live Ukraine. Long live freedom.
Cherimie Crane Weatherford is the owner/founder of SugarBelle, a long-time real estate broker and a lover of the obscurities of southern culture. To contact her with praise and adoration, email CCWIslandNews@gmail.com. To complain, call your local representative.