Monday, May 30, 2005

Thank You

Today is memorial Day. It's the day we Americans set aside to honor our military and family members who are no longer with us.
I am reminded as a child the holidays my Dad did not have to work ( he was a city firefighter and rotated 24 on -48 off) we would spend Memorial day visiting our dead.
The most poignant time for me was visiting the cemetary thay my maternal grandparent were buried.
The site was up a hill about half way up and you had to walk many lots over to the middle to find theirs.
Once in the right area theirs was easy to find; the only pink stones.
I never knew my grandfather, either of them for that matter.
My Mom's Dad died when he was just 44 years old 5 days after my oldest sister was born. My mother was still in the hospital as back then you stayed 10 days postpartum. She was oan only child and although she never said much I know she had a huge regret she wasn't there to bury her father.
My grandmother died when I was in kindergarten so I have limited memories of her.
We would kneel and say our prayers and give my mother the time she needed and usually place some roses from my mothers bush on the graves.
The next task was to return to the base of the hill and visit my " little, big brother, Charlie".
I called him that because he was little in his grave but would have been my oldest brother, my mothers firstborn. He was stillborn and again she didn't get to say good-bye or be there for his burial.
That event altered the family dynamics forever.
I can't imagine the thoughts my parents had during those visits.
Today, if you stand at his grave you look down the hill and at the road is my parents graves.
It all came full circle.
Today i remember each in my head and heart and can say they are never forgotten.

Today is the day we honor our military that are no longer with us.
I also am reminded of those lost in the conflict that happened in my youth; the Vietnam War.
There are still missing POW-MIA's out there somewhere and I never want them forgotten.

Bob purchased a framed picture through the Post Office and presented it to me today.
It is of a man touching "The Wall ".At the bottom it displays the stamps the Postal service has issued honoring Vietnam Veterans. To the side is a poem and I will add it here.

The Wall

the night was cold,I was ten years oldwhen the chaplain made his call.The news was bad, my mother was sad when she heard of my father's fall.

An ambush he said, they all were dead the words were shocking and cold. eight other men died, eight other wives cried for young men who would never grow old.

The years quickly passed, they seemed so fast with no father to show me the way.
Yet I knew from the start, deep down in my heart we'd be together, forever, one day.

Through the laughter and tears, the months and the years I kept hearing " its " far away call.
the day was cold I was thirty years old when my eyes first set sight on the WALL.

It seemed ancient yet now, as if somehow on cue when I saw it the Earth became still.
And in my memory once gray, became focused that day on a man who now suddenly became real.

No more tears filled my eyes, no more lifetime of "why's" All the answers I'd found in this place.
With the touch of his name, gone was the sorrow andpain and bad memories were quickly erased.

As I stared into the black, my father stared back and he smiled and my heart filled with joy
I said, " Welcome home Dad, what a journey you've had"
He said, " Its sure great to be home, my boy."
1998 Kelly Strong

To all veterans past and present my undying gratitude.
To my son, Paul Frank Welker, Jr serving presently on the USS John F. Kennedy I am so proud of you son and thank you.

1 comment:

anniebee said...

Hi Margaret. That was a beautiful post. Hope you are ok. How is the bipolar & fibromyalgia at the moment? Have a good week. *Hugs*