A Reason to Remember

Military personnel holding a folded US flag.(Photo originally posted here: http://www.veteranjournal.com/the-price-of-free-speech/)

Today is Memorial Day.

It’s a national holiday, celebrated every year on the last Monday in May, when we remember and honor the military men and women who gave their lives for their country.

As a child, the significance of Memorial Day was minimal to me. My day’s a vet and he would often take us to a nearby military cemetery for Memorial Day, where we’d listen to speeches, cover our ears when the gun salute happened, and walked amongst the white headstones of men and women we didn’t know.

As a teenager, the holiday became little more than a reason to gather with friends and family for a barbecue, or to catch up on homework. Gathering with others wasn’t, isn’t, a bad thing, but I don’t recall the reason for the gathering as a time to remember The Fallen.

As an adult, Memorial Day means more than it ever did. I didn’t marry a military man, but I’ve reconnected with high school classmates who serve. It’s their reminders these past few years that have really driven home the need to remember this holiday for what it is.

I come home knowing my husband will be there, knowing that he’s never gone for more than his eight hours at his job. I come home to my daughters, knowing that I won’t have to explain to them where their dad is and why he’s not coming back. I come home knowing I’ll sleep soundly with my husband by my side and our daughters tucked away in their beds.

I could argue that war has no affect on me. But that’d be a lie. If it weren’t for the brave men and women who gave their lives, I wouldn’t have the life I have now. Our country may not be as free as it is now. That freedom that I so thoroughly enjoy would be nothing more than a dream, wistful musings of a wife and mother who wishes for something better but doesn’t know how to get it.

And while I may never don a uniform for any military branch, there are men and women who do. And while I may never be sent overseas to defend our country and those who can’t, these men and women do. And maybe the sun will set I my time on Earth forty or fifty years from now, but it may happen sooner for these men and women.

For those who have gone before their time, for those who gave more than I can possibly fathom, for those who fought and died so bravely, thank you.

Your sacrifice is the reason for my freedom.

And my freedom is enough of a reason to remember you today.

Iced Tea & Steaks

As the long four-day weekend draws to a close, I can say that I enjoyed it. We spent it with family (literally all weekend!), ate terrific food, had some good times at our house with whomever happened to come by, even had a date night!

The conversations were awesome. We laughed and talked over iced tea, soda, water, juice and alcohol for some. We took pictures, watched TV, napped, and complained about the ungodly heat wave.

Embarrassing moments popped up, but good moments were experienced all the time. (You need those embarrassing moments peppered in when amongst family. Who wants a vanilla family gathering anyway???)

From iced tea and steaks, to chicken and fruit salad. From cookies and cupcakes, to coffee and soda. The weekend was just the right combination of awesome goodness and much needed relaxation.

Happy Independence Day, all! Let the good times continue to roll!

Maybe – May 30

Happy Memorial Day!

Today isn’t a maybe. Today is doing.

Today, we honor and remember the men and women who fought and died for our beloved country; the men and women whose presence is still felt today; the men and women who are remembered through pictures and memories by their friends and families.

I have one Uncle, my dad’s brother, who served in Vietnam. I had the pleasure of meeting him twice, mainly due to distance, and I remember both times distinctly. He passed away a few years ago and was buried here in California. Today, I’ll be attending a service at his graveside.

I have other relatives (my dad, other uncles and aunts, and cousins) and friends that have served or are currently serving in one branch of military or another. Today is for them as well.

I’m not married to a military man nor have I ever served. But for those who have and those who do, thank you. That you would sacrifice yourself for my freedom and security is truly humbling.

So, God, I thank You for those that have died to secure this great nation’s freedom. Thank You for those currently serving, for protecting them as they serve away from their homes. Thank You for their families that understand (but may not necessarily like or want) the call of duty. Bring our troops home safely, God. Bring them home into the loving arms of their spouses or significant others, their children.

Help us to remember that the freedoms we enjoy were not easily won and they shouldn’t easily be forgotten. Because every man and woman – who lived, served and died – was not just Your precious creation but was someone’s husband or wife, father or mother, sister or brother, son or daughter.

Sprout – Day 24

Luke 24: 1 -6a

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

He is not here, he is risen!”

~~~

Happy Easter!