Tag Archive | navy

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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Dad’s Flag Day

FLAG1Today is Flag Day for those in the United States.  June 14th, marks the celebration of the birthday of our flag ~ a reminder of the love of freedom, liberty and justice for all that our country stands for and that our flag embodies ~ it is a day to proudly fly the American Flag.

And for me, it is a reminder of my Dad, who proudly flew the American Flag from our porch’s flagpole.  It was my Dad who showed me how to roll the flag and put her away.  He carefully never let her touch the ground and when she was battered by wind and the elements he carefully folded her and disposed of her properly.

It’s funny because I’ve never really remembered how reverently he treated the flag until now ~ and it brings to mind that at his funeral, we were blessed to have the help of the Navy to make it a military funeral which he would have loved.  At his request, he was even ‘piped over the side’ by a friend ~ just one of the few nuances to his service that those who attended experienced.

Which brings me to the Daily Prompt as I think this moment of recall counts ~ today I realized how strongly he felt towards the flag and the USA.  I never really thought about it until now, but as clear as day, I can still see his daily ritual of putting the flag out in the morning and taking her in at night and if she were left out, she had to have the porch light illuminating her.  I’d bet wherever he is now, he’s the one in charge of the flag!

Father’s Day looms this weekend and the first anniversary of his death comes shortly afterwards.  It’s been a long year without him ~ full of struggles, tears and conflicting emotions.  In fact, it simply doesn’t seem like he’s dead sometimes because I can trick myself into thinking he’s on one of his biking trips.  But then of course, when I have to continue to take care of everything for his business and my parents’ affairs, I know he’s gone.

I didn’t have an easy relationship with my Dad.  It was fraught with turmoil.  But I’d really appreciate seeing him again standing on the porch unfurling the flag proudly today.  He was very proud of his country, proud to serve her and proud to be a Navy man.

Long May Her Flag Wave!

Shine On!

xo

Daily Prompt: In Good Faith

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/daily-prompt-faith/

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