Today we gathered with extended family at a large park for a time of food and festivities. It was a beautiful, sunny day. While we adults spent the time chatting and telling stories, the little ones raced all over the playground, while the older kids hiked the wooded trails. It was a truly enjoyable time.
While this day is set aside specifically for remembering our countries fallen heroes, so many others have come to my mind today. Those whose time on this earth has passed, but whose memories will remain for a long time to come.
My grandmother who passed away almost eight years ago. A wonderfully sweet woman. I can still hear her laughter as I look at the picture of her holding my firstborn in her arms. I miss her so very much.
A fun and feisty friend from college. She was from Maine (what we called a maniac:). We shared our struggles to have children, and she gave me my first baby shower. She eventually had several children of her own, before dying of ovarian cancer at a much too young age. It's hard to imagine you're not here on this earth anymore Wendy. God bless your little ones until we all meet again one day.
Another friend from college, B. When I named my only daughter, you were one of the people I thought of. Your wide smile, and big glasses. And continually cheerful attitude. When I heard of your passing last year I was so saddened. I can't imagine how much your husband and children must be missing you right now, along with many others who knew you through the years.
My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage 13 years ago today. Though the years have softened the blow, at the time I had tried for several years to get pregnant, and it was crushing. As strange as it sounds, because of the circumstances of this miscarriage, my last pregnancy (the Princess) narrowly escaped being removed during a scheduled D&C. God showed his love to me in a special way through this experience. I want to add that although I was only 10 weeks pregnant, my womb did not hold a fetus, but a living soul. One that I will get to meet in heaven one day.
Last, but not least, our fallen military heroes. I've always been proud of the fact that I've had many relatives who have served in the United States military: my grandfather in World War II (army), my father (army), my husband (navy). Along with three brother-in-laws (air force), and now a nephew (Marines). But no one in our immediate family in the last few generations has died in service to their country.
While I want to thank all those who serve/served in our military, it's fitting to especially honor those who have paid the ultimate price so that we could be free. May their sacrifice never be taken for granted, or forgotten.
Freedom Isn't Free
I watched the flag pass by one day, it fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it, and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform; So young, so tall, so proud.
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil? How many mother's tears?
How many pilots planes shot down? How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldier's graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night, when everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play, and felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times that Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped the coffin of a soldier or a friend.
I thought of all the children, of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons, and husbands with interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard, at the bottom of the sea.
Of unmarked graves at Arlington. No, freedom isn't free.