I was so honored by JodiMo at Eatin' Cheap when she asked me to guest blog for her on her great site. Head on over there to see a great side dish that is perfect for your Memorial Day parties.
This left me with a blank slate for my Memorial Day entry...which got me thinking about what Memorial Day really meant to me. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Memorial Day get together as much as the next person. And if we weren't heading out on vacation I would be hosting a large gathering at our home. But, since we will be spending Memorial Day somewhere down south in a great home on the river just the four of us, I thought I would dedicate my blog today to....remembering.
Remembering and Honoring our family's legacy of service.
We can trace the legacy of service in my husband's family back to the Civil War but alas I have no photographic evidence of this, so I will start with the man who was/is so near and dear to my heart...
As most women across the world can attest to, I have often wondered what it would be like to watch my husband or son leave our family to serve his country. These days there is at least cell phones, internet connections, webcams. But when Papaw left, there were very few ways to communicate that everyone was ok. You would have to wait, and pray, and wait, and pray and hope for a letter. I want to honor Mamaw Bessie for her strength. I would love to think I could be that strong living in the unknown...but I wonder could I?
Papaw Ray never lost an ounce of love for his country. He was the most patriotic man I knew. He had more flags, military and coast guard mementos than his room could hold. His pride swelled with the knowledge that his son-in-law (my father-in-law) would also be serving his country.
This man dedicated his whole life to military service as a Marine and then as a Army chopper pilot. This man served two tours in Vietnam. And my mother-in-law Arlene waited for him not knowing..as all military wives had in the past but with the added curse of daily news coverage. Where one heard about helicopter crashes but had to wait to find out... was it him?
And those two wonderful people gave birth to this man....
who left college when his country asked him to serve during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Who has served his country in one form or another his entire adult life....he belongs to me. And I am so thankful that I can always know where he is and how to reach him...thank you God for modern technology!
So here stands three of the most patriotic men I know. They all have/are serving their country. However one may feel about the current state of America, it's still a country worth sacrificing for.
And when we laid Papaw to rest, I wondered would the little boy on the left serve his country the same way someday...
Because that little boy is mine...and it changes everything when they are your child. Are all bets off when they belong to you? When you held them in your arms and they looked at you with newborn eyes? I don't know if he will decide this path for his life or not....and the time is counting down fast to manhood. I will be proud of him whatever he chooses to do; as long as he keeps that servants heart that was passed down to him from the great men who have influenced his life. But if he does choose to serve this way...will I let him? Can I let him? Of course the answer is yes. And I will be proud...and I will call him everyday...because I'm a mom.
Thank you Papaw, thank you Bob, thank you my love, thank you to the men and women everywhere serving their country right now, this very minute and thank you to the families of those who sacrificed more than we can imagine. In memory and with honor...I say thank you.