The answer is NEVER. It is never going to stop. Sure, many days are easier to get through than they used to be. Yes, I write and talk less about Daniel than I did 8 years ago. Of course we have all learned how to get through life without our son and brother…grandson, nephew, cousin, friend, platoon leader and CLASSMATE. But that doesn’t mean that it is easier. It only means that WE have figured it out and adjusted. Until …
About a month ago I received 4 of these in the mail. 4 at once! Over the years we have received them (usually 1 at a time). It is a card from West Point to tell us that someone has made a donation to the West Point Association of Graduates…in memory of Daniel. So I got 4 at one time, and then it hit me…OH! his classmates are remembering as they prepare to attend the reunion.
In May of this year, May of 2017, it was 10 years since the West Point graduation that Brian, Andrea and I attended along with other family members, to celebrate and rejoice in the incredible accomplishment of Daniel graduating 23rd in his class. What a day! The pride busting out of everyone that was there to witness it. Pride that is difficult to describe. Unless you attend West Point the demand is diminished in ignorance. If you have attended, you know the demand and the satisfaction in the finish.
In October, my 59th birthday weekend, the incredible class of 2007 will meet to celebrate, reflect, remember and rejoice. There is a home football game and events through the entire weekend. We were invited, but I just couldn’t do it. All I can think about is 9 years ago, (right around my 50th birthday) when Daniel called me one October night, on his way to Iraq and my mind was going 1000 miles a minute. I will never forget that night. I was at a Downey High School, Powder Puff football game and Daniel called to say they were at an airport waiting for another flight… and he just wanted to check in. My only son, was on his way to the WAR. It still sounds weird when I say it.
Andrea is going to the reunion and I couldn’t be more delighted about that. She will have a great time celebrating with all of her brother’s classmates! She is such a great sister!
Yesterday I received 4 MORE! 4 more people remembering their classmate, and friend. It is so joyfully painful, also difficult to describe. The pride lives on, as does the pain.
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. ” General George S. Patton
I am thankful, every single day!
DISCLAIMER: I mean NO DISRESPECT by saying this! If a Doctor told me I had to give up Candy for my health (which I probably should) it would be so DIFFICULT for me. I could give up booze, Ice cream, chips, fries, peas, pork, (maybe not coffee) and a lot of other things but candy would be tough.
When I was little people said, “aww, she has a sweet tooth”, “she’ll out grown it” UM, I’m 58.
There have been times when I say I’m going to give up See’s (go on the wagon for a while) and I do sometimes, because I am seriously addicted. I look at it like this, that is really the ONLY sweet I eat regularly now that I’ve tried to cut WAY back on gluten. So I justify it by thinking I used to eat ALL SWEETS, pies, cake, cupcakes, COOKIES (l LOVE to bake), brownies, Danish, you name any sweet and I LOVE it. So I figure since I’m only eating candy and I try to eat quality candy…(if such a thing exists) that it balances. Whether that is true or not, I’m an unhappy grouch when I try to stop eating candy. I seriously am so miserable that it just isn’t worth it. So, I try to moderate the best I can and I EXERCISE to try and keep a balance. I also eat very healthy foods and small portions. You’ve got to do, what you’ve got to do.
My point is, we can justify anything and if I ate fish and broccoli every day I would probably have less fat and be more healthy, but I would also be a LOT LESS HAPPY.
HAPPINESS is important!
EVERYTHING in MODERATION is the best adage I’ve ever known. While Disneyland is indeed the Happiest Place on Earth, See’s is truly a Happy Habit!
When Kaye and Mike set out on their journey early in June, they were not sure how long it would take. Here we are in September and they are about to finish what they started. Their cycling is almost complete. They have biked over 3000 miles.
Currently in PA, Kaye and Mike are headed to Washington DC where they will bike on Sept. 11. and then…just a few days later on September 16, are planning to reach their destination, One World Trade Center, NEW YORK.
When I rode with Kaye back in June, in California and crossed over the Arizona border this reality seemed so far away. But Kaye never took her eyes off the goal. As Mike re-joined her they were both determined, whatever it took, prepared to meet the challenges head on and overcome every obstacle.
Together, they have met some wonderful people, shared a journey of love for their sons and with their sons and honored Gold Star Families and the Fallen, with their commitment.
It is truly amazing what people can do, with the right motivation!
Thank you Kaye and Mike for showing us the perseverance of loving parents! We are so proud of both of you!
“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take. J.R.R. Tolkien
The other nine Federal Holidays are in order, starting in January:
New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday, George Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
How well did you do?
This cocktail came from an OLD friend, who used to live next door to me when we were in elementary school. He posted it recently and I wanted to try it. I LOVED it, so thanks Danny…it’s always fun to try new things.
Malibu Rum and Expresso flavored Rum. The coffee Rum could be more tricky to find but I found it at Lee’s Discount Liquors. It wasn’t with the other Rum it was with the Kahlua and other liqueurs. If you don’t like coffee this may not be your drink, but my husband does NOT like coffee however he enjoyed the cocktail.
Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add 2 shots Malibu rum, 2 shots coffee rum and just a touch of chocolate milk, to taste…stir and enjoy! It’s even a pretty brown fall color!!!
Next door to Lee’s Discount liquors is a Pier 1 store where I popped in first, and found fall placemats on sale. WHAT A GREAT DAY!
Enjoy the remainder of your Labor Day Weekend!
Last year I was notified about a program at Rice Middle School in Plano, TX that honors the fallen, by awarding outstanding students (at the end of the school year) with a Steel Hearts Bracelet and information on a fallen West Point graduate.
This year I received another message about the program and wanted to share it.
Martha Hanna teaches history at Rice Middle School (bless her) and her only son attends West Point. She found out about the Steel Hearts memorial bracelets (usmasteelhearts.org) and decided to award her outstanding students with more than just a certificate. For the past two years, as she recognizes an outstanding student from each of her classes she awards them with a Steel Hearts bracelet and information on the soldier who’s bracelet they are given. The students that she chooses are not only academically on top of their game but also exhibit (as voted on by their fellow students) traits of leadership, dependability, and honesty.
We are so grateful that Daniel is one of the fallen soldiers she chose to tell her students about.
Steel Hearts is yet another extraordinary program founded by West Point graduates who want to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.
What a beautiful way for young students to be made aware of the History they are currently living in and of the many young worriers who gave their ALL, for America.
Thank you Martha Hanna, Rice Middle School, and Steel Hearts for honoring our sons and daughters in this way.
Other programs I am affiliated with that honor America’s Heroes: