We had a long day yesterday, driving two hours towards the coast to our first destination, Portland Headlight, Cape Elizabeth-the oldest lighthouse in Maine. This area was also the location of an old fort-my Great Uncle trained there preparing for duty in World War I. Brother has done some research and found that Great Uncle falsified his age to enlist with his older brother (our Grandfather on Dads side). He was just 16, his brother 17 and a half. These young boys toured in Germany and were subjected to the inhumane ravages of war. It is amazing to me that they returned and were able to live somewhat normal lives (from what little I know). My brother brought out a box full of family artifacts with letters written by my Grandfather and Great Uncle to their Mother, from the German front and France; dated from October 1917 through January 1919. Two young men writing about fighting for their country, at first eager to get to the front, then longing to go home after their difficult tour. They were left in Europe for awhile and despaired that newer, less seasoned troops were sent home prior to them. They wrote of the Spanish influenza and of their hope that it would end. How much these boys must have endured, so young, not knowing what the future held for them. They eventually made it home, my Grandfather married, his brother remained a lifelong bachelor, caring for his Mother until her death. Grandpa passed before I was born, Great Uncle stepped in as surrogate. He would come for holidays with a suitcase chock full of goods- fresh fish wrapped in newspaper, eggs, bacon, loaves of bread and donuts. A big bag of Maine potatoes would be carted to the dark cool basement. My Mom cooked up delicious meals and Great Uncle ate to his content, after dessert and a cup of coffee, leaned back, stretched his arms up high, then rubbed his full belly and thanked my Mom in his thick Maine drawl. He would recline to the easy chair and call for us. We hesitated, we knew what was coming. Grabbing us one by one in his ceremonious bear hug ever so tight, then kissed us, rubbing his poky whiskers on our faces. Each visit, before he left, he would line us up and hand us crispy silver certificate dollar bills, teasingly admonishing us to save them. Now we were taking a day trip to visit the place he called home, to see for ourselves where he readied himself as a young man to enter unknown happenstance. It was a beautiful day for a drive to the ocean.The trees painted more brilliantly the further north we went. Nearing the coast, we opened the windows, in wafted crisp fall, low tide;pungent with kelp-salty air. Getting out of the car our cheeks were met with the chill of sea breeze mixed with the warmth of sun rays. We strolled through neatly kept garden paths towards lands edge where sharp granite cliffs met the Atlantic, and beheld the lighthouse. There is something sacred about these tall, whitewashed monuments perched on cragged rock outposts, standing the test of time and the stormiest of seas. Countless men in ships crossing treacherous waters have viewed this sight and held hope for navigating a safe journeys end. This same sight my Great Uncle beheld as he trained for the battlefield abroad and a future unknown. It is this symbol I cling to as I go tomorrow with my dear Mom to be by her side in one small part of the brave fight she wages to hang on to what future will be. As sure as the blinking beacon on the jagged cliffs gave hope to so many in peril, I focus on faith, the blessing of life, the goodness and light of God and pray for Mom to pull through. We are venturing into uncertainty, sailing a ship into unchartered waters. With God as our lighthouse, whatever the outcome, we may rest assured for a safe journeys end.