Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

I know what Memorial Day is about.  And I hope I understand its importance.  We try, every year, to keep it in perspective for the boys.  To remind them.  But so many things ran through my mind this Memorial Day.

For the past week, I have been anxious.  War has been on my mind.  I know that wars, terrorism, and just a spirit of unkindness has been going on for a long time.  And I know that at times it can feel a little more "real" than at other times.  But for some reason, this last week really had my mind going and going.  I couldn't seem to turn it off.  I kept thinking of my boys.   How if something were to happen and we were to go to war, well, how it would change them.  I have read stories of young boys almost wanting to fight in World War 2.  Even though their fathers had fought in the terrible World War 1, they didn't get it.  I'm sure some did.  But some didn't.  They just got excited, for a lack of better word, about being a man.  Fighting for something.  Getting out of their little home town.  I don't know if they felt like they were going into a battle like the ones they played with their childhood friends in backyards and forests but from the accounts that I read, they didn't understand the seriousness of this war.  

So I think of my boys.  I have a boy in particular who is incredibly sensitive for a boy.  Thinking of sending him to war makes me sick.  I know people are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for but I would fear it would break him.  Then I have another son who I wonder would be like those boys who went into World War 2.  How do you get them to understand this isn't a video game or Nerf guns?  And then to top it all off, we haven't had a "World War" in years.  They don't even see the after effects of a serious war like those boys saw in their fathers.  How could they ever possibly understand how truly horrible war is.

Yuck, I'm starting to feel that feeling again.  So its time to change this to what I felt on Monday.

But Monday...it was wonderful.  And I didn't just see it in my family.  We did our tradition of putting flowers on graves of soldiers and children that had no flowers on them.  And we sat down by a tree, near one of those graves, with the pop that the volunteers at the cemetery were handing out.    We spoke of the importance of Memorial Day.  Later we hiked, David BBQ pork chops, and all the boys got wet in the back yard.  That is the beauty of Memorial Day in our family.  But what I noticed this year was other families.

The trail that we went on was by a park that was crowded with families being together.  We passed many people on the trails.  Later that night, when I got on Facebook to see if my family had posted pictures of their Memorial Day, I ended up seeing so many hiking pictures of friends!  Or just families being together.

So at the end of the day yesterday, I found myself smiling at the togetherness that Memorial Day can bring.  Who knew that a holiday that was started because of so much death, could actually be a day of such happiness.  I have no doubt that Memorial Day is a very hard day for a lot of people.  But I really want to see the good in things also.

And even though my week before Memorial Day was that of anxiousness, I see now that even though the world can be inflicted of wars, terrorism, and a spirit of unkindness, it can also be full of kindness if we choose to be a part of it.  It can be filled with time spent with family and friends.

 (Lindquist Washington Heights Memorial Park)
 Here is the beginning of the trail leading to Gib's Loop.
 We came around a corner on the trail and saw all these beautiful white flowers.  It almost hurt my eyes with how bright it was after being in such a shaded part of the trail.
                One thing that I love about these boys is their sense of adventure when we hike.  
 Who needs snow on a hill when you can just slide like a penguin on dirt!
 I just remembered where my anxiousness started last week.  I was in a check out line when this guy in a motorized cart got in line behind me.  He was using his right arm to lift up his left arm to put something on the checkout counter.  So I offered to get all his stuff on there.  With a smile on his face he said, "The man in me wants to say no but yes please."  He then told me about how he had served overseas twice and had been in 2 explosions.  The last one making it so where the left side of his body was very weak.  But he was so happy.  So positive.  He said a couple times, "I'm the luckiest guy alive!  I'm alive!"

The next day I watched another guy in a check out line ask for a military discount.  I then watched him limp out the door with his young son.

I don't even know what to write about these 2 situations other than that it woke me up.  I was awake all week, so to say.  Lots of thoughts and feelings.

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