It is Memorial Day and it is for me and vicariously my children a sad day. To me it is not about the BBQs and the start of summer it is that Phil and Lou, two men I served with never came home. I think about their families and look them up. Both widows seem to be doing well, one engaged to be married. I am grateful they can move ahead with out their fathers and husbands. My kids know today is not a happy day for me. While they don’t know what exactly happened they know two friends of mine were in the Iraqi War with me and did not survive. They know we will put a flower on the memorial with their names.
I don’t dwell on the loss for the kids sake though. Certainly it was before their time coming to live with me and well there is really nothing we can do. I do take extra time though today to do something with the family I made after I came home from the war in 2005. Today we went hiking, it serves to burn energy and I get to take pictures of nature. We talk about the importance of Memorial Day and Veterans Day and the sacrifices all our military men and women make. Sometimes I can feel M1’s eyes rolling but oh well, to some of us it does matter a great deal. I remind her that her adoptive family is full of veterans, me, Pop-Pop and both my grandfathers. I remind them that both their God Parents are Veterans too and for us, them knowing the difference is very very important.
My BFF and her boyfriend will come over too and we will cook out like so many others. I will stay as present as possible and enjoy the blessings I have in this life because of the choices I and many others have made to serve. I will remember but not dwell on the loss of my friends as they would not have wanted that, especially Phil, who used to make me laugh just so he could hear me laugh. He always said my laughter is contagious so I will honor his memory today too and definitely laugh out loud on his behalf.
All gave some. Some gave all. Remember please this Memorial Day.