Quote of the Day: I truly believe that when people face death, when they face the loss of all the trivia of modern day society and are face to face with the “bare essentials” of what is human, that they are the happiest, with less to gripe over and less to worry about. I think people are people only when they suffer! Chaplain Ray Stubbe in a letter home from Vietnam, 25 November 1967. From the book Grace Under Fire – Letters of Faith in Times of War
We arrived a bit late for the Memorial Day service. They were saying the prayers as we walked closer. I regretted missing the message from the speaker, hearing the band, and yet, I was glad I’d taken the time to pick up my boys and bring them here. We heard the 21 gun salute. We saw the soldiers pause and reflect. We were reminded of the extreme sacrifice of many so that we could enjoy living in freedom.
The boys noticed new things this year – all the flags for the soldiers, the larger headstones for families who lived and died here, and how large the cemetery is. I explained that not everyone buried here is a soldier. It’s a community cemetery that goes back about 100 years.
I felt grateful to be walking around above ground, to have my boys at my side, and to watch them play. We stopped at a playground where I soaked in the sun and the joy of the day, took pictures, and wondered how long they’d still like playing at playgrounds.
How long will they feel the carefree life of being a kid?
And, I felt grateful that my home has not experienced disaster, especially after reading Doris’ blog, “Hold my Hand” a social worker’s blog, which has a moving story of how the medical community responded to the disaster in Joplin, MO. Dr. Kevin Kikta wrote about the chaos and the care during the first hours of the devastation. He writes, “Tragedy has a way of revealing human goodness.”
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What are you feeling grateful for today?
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Very interesting beginning quote… I haven’t thought of it like that before, but it’s so true if you really think about it. Simple is best.
Lovely photos! You’re an excellent photographer.
Taking your boys was a wonderful gift to your children – may they never forget!
Lovely post, Mary. I’m grateful for my health and my family and friends.
Wonderful post, Mary! You did a good thing, taking your boys to the ceremony. Nice pictures of the day. 🙂
I agree with Alex, what a wonderful gift. Also, every hero resting there would say life is for the living and to L I V E! We’re not far from Arlington – so many new graves –
I hope what Dr. Kikta wrote goes viral. I get goosebumps thinking about his words.
One gift or “Grace” of tragedy, of deep suffering is the way we’re rendered open to the beauty, pain, love, tragedy, joy, all around us and within us. This openness, this rawness and vulnerability often fade in due time. But we can, if we wish, remember and hold onto aspects of the experience, the “best parts.” Suffering is so valuable for going a little (or a lot) deeper in empathizing with others and for truly valuing the simple gifts of each moment, each precious now.
Thank you for posting this. I’m glad you experience the treasure that is being with your sons. Continued good things for you, Dear.
Love that you did this, Mary. I wish more people would take the time to teach their kids about the value of Memorial Day. I commend you, pal.
Love the pictures too. You made a wonderful memory. 🙂
I’m grateful for Jesus. Mary, without him, I’d be in BIG trouble. And for my family. My Christopher. He fills me with joy and laughter all day, every day. (((hugs)))
You are such a good mama, Mary! I’m thankful for only 5 more school days before summer vacation. 🙂
Glad you and the boys shared the Memorial Day service together. I’m sure they’ll remember a sombre and meaningful ceremony such as this. Love their smiling faces.
Your boys have such great smiles. 🙂
I’m so grateful for my health, my family, and the freedom we take for granted in this country.