Archive for November 24th, 2010

Our Little Charles

Walking through a cemetery gives you a peek into a world that is now gone. I think most of us go through our day to day life assuming that people who lived a century or so ago were pretty much like us. It takes a bit of a jolt to realize that those people’s worldview was radically different from our own, to the point where it would probably seem alien to us. We are shaped very much by the world we inhabit.


We generally assume today that a child is going to outlive his or her parents. We have eliminated childhood diseases that once ravaged populations. We have treatments and adaptive devices for many illnesses and impairments that cannot be cured to allow people to live full lives.  Infant and child mortality have been so radically decreased by modern medicine that it is a shocking tragedy when someone dies in childhood.


Yet all the children’s graves, often topped with lamb statues, remind us that for our people just a few generations ago, death in childhood was much, much more common. Still tragic, still devastating, but a tragedy repeated over and over in home after home.   And so today, when I walk through the cemetery and see the stone lambs, I think of my friends and family and especially of my healthy nieces and nephews, and I am so very grateful.

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