Monday, May 27, 2013

my mother the patriot

i am grateful for a mother who's idea of family fun was to break out the game 'constitution quest' or 'the united states game'
who took her camera to document the first time i could vote
who made sure that at every patriotic holiday, we knew what we were celebrating and whom we were honoring
who had us kids make calls and walk precincts for candidates and laws she deemed worthy of our time
who marched around singing the song of the Marines she learned from her daddy
who taught my children the President's Song and sang it with them at a talent show
whose love for our country and its founding fathers are unquestionable
who gives gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the land we live in and the freedoms we possess
who teaches us that there are so many good people in this world and those people need to stand up for what is right
her passion carries us along and drives us to recognize that we have a responsibility for what we are blessed with
although i may have rolled my eyes many times at her enthusiastic question, 'who's ready to play the united states game'
i am honored to be the daughter of a patriot
a full-fledged, whole hearted lover of our nation
one whose actions match her beliefs

this morning we attended a moving patriotic service at my daddy's cemetery
i had no idea what it would be like
but immediately felt deep gratitude to be there with my children this morning as we praised God for this great nation and honored those living and those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country
respect and honor is what i desired for my boys to feel today as they sang our national anthem, say those flags wave, and heard men 40 to 93 tell of their service to our country
i looked over to at my mother holding my little Felicity and surrounded by my boys and continued to feel such gratitude for her example of patriotism in my life and the lives of my children

we had brought flowers to bring to daddy's gravesite
after the ceremony many people stayed to greet one another
we made our way through the noisy crowd towards the site to find his plot encircled by a string of red, white, and blue pendant flags as well as lots of people
i have to say that was a very difficult experience for me
every time i have come to daddy's gravesite it has been a peaceful, communing experience for me
seeing so many people standing next to his gravesite, carrying on with their conversations, knowing nothing of the man whose memory we were honoring as we knelt down at his site
stirred up past feelings of agitation at seeing others carry on with their lives while we were experiencing such great loss
of course these feelings are baseless as they have done nothing wrong by carrying about their conversations and lives, it just hurts
the rush of tears was so unexpected
and i needed to remind myself that i do not know these individual's stories
i know nothing of the loss and heartache they have experienced
but as sure as i know of my own, i know that others have suffered loss
it was just too difficult for me to stay there in that setting
i tried to kneel and create peace but i knew i needed to come back another time to receive that peace that i sought for there
i watched my mother tend to the flowers at my father's grave, making sure they were just so
then with a noble smile and kiss she said her goodbyes and we left
i continue to learn from her each and every day and marvel at the grace with which she lives her life
so grateful to be her daughter
so grateful that she is my children's grandmother


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