Tag Archive | military

Join Me and Salute The Veterans

veterans

The military has always been a small part of my life.  My Dad was a Navy man.  He and my Mom met at an Army/Navy game.  All three of my Mom’s brothers served as U.S. Marines and one in the Army.  Multiple cousins and extended family have served in the military as well.  I have friends who are veterans and others who are in active duty.  Now the next generation has arrived and I pray for the friends of my sons who have chosen to be a part of the military branches.  I now have ties to Air Force Rangers, Navy Seals, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

I remember wearing a POW (Prisoner of War) bracelet as a young girl.  I asked my Dad for one as he wore one and had explained to me why he wore his.  I wanted to show my support for the man who was missing and his family.  I still have it somewhere and now that I’m older, I need to find out if he was ever found.

Today I salute all those who are a part of our military and their families.  From my heart, I thank you for your service and I don’t take lightly what you have sacrificed for all of us.  The unimaginable atrocities that you have witnessed and experienced sadden me.  I can’t begin to imagine the unfathomable knowledge that you may keep inside and yet you are still here.  I admire your unbreakable spirit and commitment.  I know that what you have gone through may have changed you in ways we civilians cannot even begin to understand.  I have witnessed how the human spirit can be broken irrevocably and my heart goes out to you.

Years ago, I attended many military functions due to invites via work.  I met so many amazing men and women who were in the military and I was always honored when they shared their stories with me.  I never forgot to thank them for their service to our country.  Their calling to be a part of the military was evident and even though I have never felt that calling, I admire their willingness to be a part of it, to proudly stand for what they believe in and to sacrifice themselves for our country’s freedom.

In my heart, mind and soul, I wish we had no need for militia and that peace would reign throughout our planet Earth.  But that doesn’t seem possible in my lifetime, nor in the lifetime of my children unless we all commit to unconditional love prevailing.  Oh what a miracle that would be, don’t you think?

Today, please take a moment to say a prayer for all of the Veterans, those in active duty and those who have lost lives and spirits.  We appreciate you and your families.  We honor your commitments and we hold you tenderly in our hearts.  May God Bless Us All.

Shine On!

xo

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Begin Again

beginagain

A friend gave me a magnet awhile back in anticipation for all of the changes that were in store for my future.  At the time, I didn’t want to Begin Again as it was daunting for me to think about all that would be changed.  Regardless of how much I didn’t want the changes, they happened anyway, out of my control.  Instead of accepting that my life would dramatically change in all ways – divorce, moving, financially, health-wise, etc., I fought like a tigress to remain in that stagnant limbo of wanting no change, all while change happened anyway.

Finally, I surrendered.

Broken, exhausted and drained, I surrendered.

It’s not that I didn’t agree that the changes were imminent and necessary.  It was that I was fearful of how I would continue on in this uncharted territory for my journey and the journey of my children, for it wasn’t where I wanted to be.  But when I stopped fighting against the rising tide and began to doggy paddle to keep afloat, I received help through the transition.  Angels disguised as friends and strangers reached out to me with kindness.  I began to see the future as a new chapter in my life, a new book on which to write my story and a fresh clean slate which I controlled (for the most part) of how I am the captain of my own life’s ship.

I began planning what had to be done and like a sergeant, began the transition with what I hoped would be military precision.  But alas, I may have had a plethora of military family members, but precision has not been a characteristic blessing unto me.  And so it was, I surrendered.  I did my best daily, fell asleep on my pillow with a bone tired body and rose up the next morning to do it all again.  And finally, it was accomplished, through the help of my angelic human angels.

Now we begin again, in a new home with new challenges.  Regardless, I have surrendered what was and I embrace what is and I plan for what I would like to be.  To Begin Again requires letting go of the past and staying in a peaceful present and allowing a hopeful future to blossom, petal by petal.

I am grateful for the peace within now.  Although transitions are often fraught with wiggles and compromises, I knowingly stand with peace in my heart, grateful for the lessons and learning which have come with the experiences I’ve endured.  I’ve learned so much about people, about myself and about love.  Life lessons have been tough at times, but well-worth the growth that came out of them.  Sure, it’s easy in hindsight to feel this way, but I guess I wanted to share with you so that you can remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  We just have to keep walking towards the light.

I’m here for you if you are going through any transitions as I’ve been through a bunch of different ones:  cancer, multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation, divorce, selling a house, finding the right rental, starting over at 50, death of family, family with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, etc.  If you need a friend, here I am, with my arms wide open for a hug.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

A Thanksgiving Feast of Super Sweet Bloggers!

I figured with the upcoming holiday season fast approaching, a bit of gratitude during Thanksgiving week would be appropriate ~ and give you a chance to expand your blogging reader instead of your waistlines!  🙂  So…first of all, my sincere and sweet thanks to Holly Michael at award-party(her blog is called Holly Michael’s Writing Straight ~ Connecting and Inspiring Along Life’s Crooked Lines by Author & Freelance Writer Holly Michael).  Holly’s inspirational blog along with her amazing photos of faraway places that she’s visited in her blessed lifetime will keep you coming back post after post!  Thank you again Holly for all!  I feel so grateful! xo

Now for the super sweet and gooey:

Rules for this award include:  Thank the super sweet blogger who made the nomination, Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers (below) and answer five questions:

  1. Cookie or cake?  Cookie – good, soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies (no nuts, raisins ok)
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Both
  3. What is your favorite sweet treat? Too many to name! 🙂
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Equally all the time, except when I’m sleeping. LOL
  5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Bon Bon

And for the sweetness award, I nominate these super-sweet blogs:

1.  serenityspell.com

Christina’s got the amazing wildlife in Florida front and center!  She makes this big ol’ world seem manageable with her photogenic views of Florida and its inhabitants.  Sprinkle in a big of inspiration and you’ve got FeyGirl’s number.  Not to be missed!

2.  waitingforthekarmatruck.com

Mimi’s got it going on at the Karma Truck!  Stop by and see her…share a cup of coffee on her porch as she’s always got something fun over there on her blog!

3.  antodesimone.wordpress.com

Antonio’s poems in English and Italian will delight you as well as his photographs!  Perhaps you’ll be inspired to learn Italian?!

4.  brainsnorts.wordpress.com

Rich’s blog is full of fun ~ stories to be read, cartoons to write captions for, news to understand…there’s so much to enjoy!  Make sure you stop by to check him out!  You won’t be disappointed!

5.  paperkeeper.wordpress.com

Bonnie’s blog always has something special for you as does her Etsy business.  She’s a lovely lady who may keep her heart in her pocket, but captures all of ours.

6. jumpingonclouds.com

Jump on clouds and ride along the journey of a woman who speaks so openly and lovingly about her recovery from PTSD and her Mom’s recent brain cancer diagnosis.

7.  livingsuccess3d.wordpress.com

Judit is an amazing  coach who will give you tools, strategies and tactics to help you with successfully transforming not only your own personal and professional world, but the world around us ~ you can count on inspirational stories, straight talk and no mumbo jumbo…what a special find!

8.  letlifeinpractices.com

Kristin’s blog is a plethora of information, inspiration and tips for your life!  Get ready to find how to Let Life…and soar!

9.  hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com

Esperanza will hug you in her special way…enjoy her special brand of Hope & Hugs!  You know you’ll get hope because that’s what Esperanza means!

10.  thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com

Patty helps those in the military connect ~ in addition, she shares heartwarming stories that will always bring a smile to your face!

Please check out these super sweet bloggers…you will be happy that you did!  They are awesome!

Happy Thanksgiving week!   I”m grateful to ALL of You for your amazing posts!

Keep on Blogging!

xo

Rabbit, Rabbit…

Rabbit, Rabbit…White Rabbit, White Rabbit…

It’s been a long few days since my knee surgery.  Today is the first day that I’ve even remotely felt like venturing to write a post, but I thought it’s the perfect time to bring up a tradition that we’ve been doing for years.   Today is September 1st and on the first of every month, we say, “Rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit,” in the morning before breakfast (although it’s a loose rule because years ago when my son was 5, he cried because he forgot to say it before he ate and was convinced he would have a bad month)  So, being the good Mom, I amended the rule quickly before the tears really began rolling.  In fact, as my sons have grown, they’ve twisted the rabbit, rabbit to monkey, monkey ~ in a show of independence and yet caring for dear ol’ Mom.  Not quite rebelling as such, but doing it their way.  I don’t mind, I think it’s funny because they get such a kick out of saying it to me.

Do any of you know of this tradition?  I can’t tell you where it began for me or how…I just know that the start of the new month has me declaring that phrase before savoring my first sip of my coffee in the early morning and brings me a smile knowing that I’ve begun my month with luck!

I started looking up the phrase ‘Rabbit, rabbit” and a plethora of websites and theories abounded.  Some stated that the tradition started in the 1880s, some stated that there are conditions upon saying the phrase to another person, some even have a slight variation on the way it’s said (hare in the morning, rabbit at night).  It’s an interesting take on a cute family tradition that I never thought much about….until now.

One piqued my interest:

“There is a tradition in the military (at least in the USAF) involving white rabbit. It is a game, as well as a way to keep in touch with those with whom you were stationed. When a new month begins, it is a contest as to who can tell the other person ‘white rabbit’ first; must be live communication, no answering machines, letters, etc. Usually the wager would be a drink. However, like I said, it allowed you an ‘excuse’ to call people once a month and catch up.”

So, in the military tradition, I send you Rabbit, Rabbit first…

Now let’s go get a Mimosa to start off our month with luck!

For me, it’ll be lucky because you’re buying!

Have you said it this morning?

Rabbit, Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit

to YOU!

xo

Gratitude Day 25 ~ Soldiering On

We understand death for the first time

when he puts his hand upon one whom we love. Madame de Stael

I can’t sleep.  It’s 4am and I can’t stop listing in my head all that I need to do so I’m up.  All is quiet in my home, the coffee machine whispers, breaking the silence as I reach down to pet each of our cats who bring me so much joy and comfort.  I need to get so much done this morning…bills to pay for my family, bills for my parents, emails to write, a funeral to coordinate, my own business to run, my Dad’s business to run ~ funeral outfits for everyone ~ my head spins with all that I need to do.

So I do what I was ‘trained’ to do…I soldier on.  Being the daughter of a Navy man, I was trained (his vocabulary ~ certainly not the word I would choose for myself) from age 11 to work in my Dad’s office and to take care of things.  It is where I am most comfortable and I guess it’s how I am dealing with the grief that at times simply overwhelms me.   My friend KAngel remarked that we all grieve in different ways and I can see that clearly now.  My Mom and AAngel are grieving differently as well.  We are all incubated in our grieving and yet connected.  I hope we don’t lose that connection even though I see that it is tenuous as times.

I am grateful for my Dad’s insistence that I learn how to do what needs to be done without fanfare…I feel like it’s my contribution to my family to make things easier at this time.  It’s my way of grieving because I need to get done what needs to be done now.  It’s like a race for me and I know me…I am like my Dad, the Energizer Bunny…I’ll keep going and going until I fall apart and pass the torch of work onto whomever picks it up.  I need to do this now before I’m not able to help.

Thinking back, it’s how I deal with many aspects of my life ~ I just keep going ~ baby steps forward.  With the cancer and surgeries that I’ve endured, I just keep going ~ stopping occasionally to stomp my foot in sadness and a flood of “why me?” before picking myself back up to keep going for myself, my family and with the inner need to soldier on.

Before this, I don’t think I really ‘got’ what the death of a loved one means ~ and I’m still not quite sure that I do as I think this is going to be a process ~ yet again, Dad is training me from beyond.  I’m on autopilot nowadays, but in the quiet of the mornings, all alone, I allow myself the indulgence of communicating with him.  Right now, I can trick my mind into thinking he’s on vacation as I play worker bee in his office.  It’s easy because I’ve done it before ~ but this morning, I can feel his love around me.  I can remember how he looked when he passed and I know that the outer shell of that man is gone forever, but his spirit is still alive and kicking all around me.

And for that, this lil’ soldier is so grateful.

xo

Gratitude Day 16 ~ The Pursuit of Happiness!

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Today’s gratefulness goes to the many men, women and canines who have heroically helped to keep our flag proudly raised high in honor of our beautiful country the United States of America.

Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916.  While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Our flag, is also referred to as “Old Glory,” represents all people of America. We, the people, are America.  We are a part of this great land and as the flag passes by, many are moved to saluting our flag.  We are “one nation under God.”

Old Glory symbolizes the love and pride that we have as a nation and is a poignant reminder of America’s greatness.  We are fortunate to live in a country which values freedom above all else. Our flag signifies the commitment made by our fallen brethren who battled bravely to defend the honor of our American unity, our power, and our purpose as a nation.  It signifies the dedication of our leaders to continue to strive to uphold its promise of liberty, justice and freedom for all.

Seeing our American Flag brings such strong emotion to many ~  either at a ceremony honoring a great event or draped over the coffin of a military veteran as a sign of mourning for a hero and a loved one.

So in honor of our flag on Flag Day 2012,

I give thanks for all who have helped to keep her waving proudly everyday.

xo

Memorial Day ~ True Heroism

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” —Arthur Ashe

On this Memorial Day 2012,  I am reminded of all who have served our beautiful country, the Unites States of America…allowing us to LIVE in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.   Members of my family have served our country and I am proud to say that for I feel it is our duty to all participate in supporting our military in whatever way we choose ~ be it by serving in the forces, by volunteering to help, by commerce ~ even by prayer.

I have had the pleasure of meeting many military personnel in my life and hearing their stories.  What always brings tears to my eyes is the fact that they have faced fear and had the courage that many times we shy away from in our own lives.  I’ve heard it said many times, that they would repeat what they had done because of their amazing conviction, devotion and urge to protect our country and its inhabitants.

Just for a moment today I’d like to ask that you give a thankful thought to all of those who serve our beautiful country ~ be grateful for all that you have today ~ that as you go about your journey to your party, to the beach, to a friend’s house, to a picnic or perhaps to work ~ that you do it safely because of those who serve are watching out for you and me.

Happy Memorial Day!

xo