Memorial

Memorial Day.

I am not going to lie. I spend the weekend getting plenty of sleep, barbecuing, enjoying killer Margaritas (Who knew the best margarita recipe ever would come from a geneticist from Jersey?!), buying flowers, riding my bike, and enjoying the third day off in a row. I do. I enjoy every minute of it, and I am not going to sit here and say that I don't enjoy all of these things to try and prove that I am more of a Patriot than someone else.

However.

(Come on- you know me. You knew a 'however' was coming).

However, my weekend has been interspersed with thoughts of those who have fought for freedom. My Pepa- Memorial Day always brings memories of going and putting flowers and tokens of love on gravestones. Memories of his war stories- I thought he was bigger than life, but in reality he was still a teenager, sent to fight. Memories of some of his serious stories and of some of his funny stories- one of when he was in the chow hall with his friend Tiny (I saw pictures of Tiny, and this name was definitely an ironic one). They were eating lunch, when planes started flying overhead, dropping bombs. Everyone flew into ditches and trenches, but Tiny managed to roll in with my Pepa, his lunch still in hand.

I think of my friends who have been deployed numerous times, and come back changed forever from what they have seen. I think of my friends who have seen their spouses deploy time after time, and yet they carry on every day because this is also their service to their country. I think of the sacrifices and worries and hurts that I hear about every day- more sacrifices than I will ever make. I think of the veterans I know, who have scars both physical and psychological- my friends who left limbs and peace of mind behind.

So I appreciate and love every moment of my three day weekend. And I am more grateful than words can express to every veteran for what they do so that we can enjoy our days. I am grateful today, and I will be grateful every day, which is how it should be.

That being said, hug a veteran. Listen to your grandpa's stories- not a lot of our WWII veterans around. Buy coffee or a meal for someone in uniform. Give a little love to your friend whose spouse is on their third deployment.  Appreciate every time you get to speak or vote or educate your daughter- someone paid for that right with their life.

XOXOXO


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