May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

I remember Memorial Day as being a time of shopping, sales, going to the beach, and an extra day to just have fun. I'm not having fun this year. I am remembering. I am remembering you, my son, and how much we miss you. Your laughter, your kindness, your thoughtfulness. I miss you so much it hurts. And here you are, seemingly frozen in time at the age of 26.

I think of the conversations we had, of all the things you did to help me get through rough times in my life. You helped me just by being you. Such a good decent man taken so soon, it doesn't seem fair. I try to remember all the others who have fallen serving our country, but I am selfish in my memories. I can only think of you.

I have a CD that has pictures of you. I can watch it and see you talking and laughing again. I can see you with your young family, with your friends. But it hurts too much to watch it.

I am so very proud of you. For standing up for your beliefs, for your courage and dedication, for serving your country, despite what others may say. I wish we could have had more time, Travis. I wish you would have had more time with your wife and children. God bless and keep you.

My love for you Travis. Always and forever.

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

For the first time since my mother died I did not think of buying her a mother's day card, but my thoughts have been of her. I often wonder how she managed to raise her children in the time and place that she did. I know it took its toll on her.

Living in rural West Virginia, in a five room house, just barely making ends meet, she managed to turn out six children into the world. She also managed to put up vegetables and fruits every summer with an old fashioned canner, sweat streaming from her face. Having no indoor plumbing, she managed somehow to keep us all clean, and our clothes as well. I remember the old wringer washer she used, and how many buckets of water it took to wash clothes all day. No dryer meant hanging clothes on the line that stretched across our yard, supported by wooden poles. If one of the poles slipped and the clothes touched the ground, she washed them over again. Before I came along, she also tended to farm animals, as my father worked away from home.

With me coming along just after her fortieth birthday, and my father's ulcer, the farm animals disappeared. Looking back, I know she suffered from what we would call today anxiety, and it manifested itself in many ways. She refused to see a doctor, and never left the home place during the time I grew up. Eventually, her health would force her out into the world, and, despite her fears, she coped. In her own way she always seemed to cope with life's misfortunes.

I watched her as she paced our small house during the Viet Nam years, wondering if her favorite child was still alive. All of her letters to him were being returned, marked Missing in Action. I remember her radiant relief at the end of the summer of 1966, when she found out he was in a hospital in Hawaii and would be coming home soon.

I remember how she made each Christmas special, even when there were no gifts under the tree. She managed somehow to give us all hope.

She was not the demonstrative kind of mother that hugged you all the time, but when she said you had done well, you felt a sense of pride.

So many times during the past three years I have wanted so dearly to talk to her. And sometimes I do. Does she hear me? I don't know, but this is for you Mother. Thanks for all that you did. I'll never know how hard it was for you, but thanks for being there when you could.

May 10, 2008

I'm back!

At least for awhile. I took some time off because, quite frankly, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to write about. Life has thrown me another curve ball, and this one really caught me off guard. So, I've been occupied with personal problems. But then, who ain't?

I am sorry I haven't visited my favorite blogs for awhile. Life has kept me occupied. And I guess depression has too. Travis's birthday is coming up, and that's always an event that brings so much pain. He would have been 29. My oldest will turn 30 this year. He's freaking out over that. I guess I did too.

I've been spending so much time thinking about the past, and all the things I should have done but didn't. A useless endeavor, I know, but for some reason I can't help it. I find myself watching old re-runs on TV of a time long gone, and wishing it wasn't. I grew up watching I Love Lucy, and thinking that my life would be like a tv sitcom, I think. But it wasn't. Far from it. Life just seems unfair at times. Guess I'm having myself a pity party. I can't wait for it to be over.

But, I will try to find something to write about. And I plan to visit all the blogs I have missed. I haven't forgotten you all. I guess I've just been selfish.

It will pass. Life finds a way. Somehow life finds a way.