Memorial Day

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The American flag does not fly because the wind moves past it… The American flag flies from the last breath of each military member who has died protecting it.

Americans don’t fight because they hate what’s in front of them… They fight because they love what’s behind them……….from http://ed-bonderenka.blogspot.com/

I have always had a great amount of appreciation for out military!  My dad instilled in me at a young age that pride for those men and women who give so that I may have.  Still it becomes so very different when you experience first hand a loss.

August 15, 2005 things changed for me.  I can still remember vividly to this day every detail.  My husband and a friend were in our kitchen measuring for new kitchen counters.  I was about 5 weeks pregnant with the princess and had gotten home from teaching and was folding laundry and cooking dinner.  The house phone rang and on the line was my sister-in-law who through sobs choked out the words that her nephew, Army Specialist Joshua P. Dingler, just 19 years old- had died in Iraq when his HMMWV overturned in a canal. I gasped and the tears began to flow down my cheeks. I told her I would be right over.  After filling in my husband and friends, I headed to her house.

I knew we had a rough road ahead of us and prayed for God’s strength as we were headed to tell her mom.  Her mom knew something was wrong when we all showed up on a week night.  The grief I saw that night will forever live in my mind.  Yes there was a sweet assurance that Joshua was now spending eternity in Heaven but a deep well of grief that he was no longer here and wouldn’t be marrying his high school sweetheart and fulfilling his many dreams.

Having gone through this experience put a different perspective for me on holidays such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Independence Day. Yes, I still thoroughly enjoy the time off from work spend with family but I also think back to Josh and the many others who have served or are serving and appreciate them and their families.  As a mom it is my job to make sure the princess knows that it is about soooooooo much more than cooking out and having fun.

After 3 days off, I am off to the park for a sunset jog!

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