He was young,
just in the prime of his life,
when he died in a nation far from family and friends.
I never knew him,
but his photo and life's story touched me then,
and has continued to do so over the years.
I think of his family on days like this and
I wonder about his mom
and how she is doing this Memorial Day weekend;
I wonder how one continues to live when something
as precious, as priceless
as a son or daughter is taken from you?
I think of her now as I lay flowers on her son's grave and
as I kneel silently besides this, his final resting place,
touching my fingers to my lips and then to his marker.
A bouquet of roses, lavender, Lady's Mantle and an iris fresh from our garden
seems like such a small gift for one who gave his all in service to our country,
but it is all I have brought with me today--
besides tears and a hurting heart.
It is a gift for that one mom too-
a tangible sign that someone remembers her son and his sacrifice;
it is a gift that has been laying in my heart for many years
and at last it is laying where it belongs...
where I have so longed for it to be.
Some in my ancestral line and extended family have known
(and still know)
the loss of a loved one from war.
Fathers who left children way too soon in the Civil War and in World War II;
families forever changed in that horrible moment of time.
This day used to be just a holiday to me...
just another day off of school or work;
it no longer is;
it no longer can be.
Bless those who have lost a loved one in war.
Give them strength, healing, comfort and peace as they go daily about their lives.
Draw them closer to you on this day and forevermore.
please keep our Armed Forces safe and grant them peace soon;
grant our world peace too.
In the Name of Jesus,
Willamette National Cemetery
May 26, 2013