This post is dedicated to those who have chosen to serve our country.
It’s Memorial Day today. My husband and middle son are fishing, pretty sure my daughter is still sleeping, my oldest has school today, and I am at work waiting for an order to get picked up. The bakery is empty, inventory awaits. On my way into work, I passed by a small entourage of people in Boxborough gathering for the annual Memorial Day parade. I was struck by the image; it immediately brought me back to last year’s parade, which I wrote about here. As I continued driving away, I was overwhelmed by how much has changed for my family & me in the past year.
I actually had to look up information explaining why we celebrate Memorial Day. Do a quick google search, and you’ll quickly find out some very interesting facts. Check out this article. In a nutshell, Memorial Day is about honoring and remembering everyone who has died serving our country in the armed forces.
The holiday has taken on more weight for me this year, and perhaps, forever. This past winter, my middle son decided to attend The Air Force Academy to go to college and to play lacrosse. This means that in just a couple of years, he will put on a uniform and will one day serve our country, somehow, somewhere. None of us anticipated this decision, including my son. All I know is that he spent one day on the campus in Colorado Springs, hung out with lacrosse players, ate in the cafeteria, and by the end of the day, felt like he had found his home. I could not be more proud or more terrified. I’m sure I’ve joined the ranks of millions of parents who experience this thought daily. So proud. So scared.
Here’s what I know: Everything has shifted for me. Nothing dramatic yet, but definitely different. Hearing The Star Spangled Banner always gave me goosebumps. Now, these shivers are accompanied by biting lips, watering eyes. When I see someone wearing a uniform, I now can’t help but make eye contact and thank them. My mind drifts ahead 7 years and I picture my son sitting in an airport, waiting for a flight (hopefully to come visit me), wearing the same uniform. I wonder if people will approach him and how he’ll react. I always appreciated people who served, but never truly understood the commitment, the mental & physical training, the risk, the sacrifice. It’s slowly & steadily sinking in, day after day.
Enjoy your day today, and for those who have served or are currently in the miliary…thank you & please be safe.