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On Memorial Day

10376168_738125189571760_1218440995393755273_n.jpgGoing into this weekend can cause a bit of cognitive dissonance for many of my people.

For my tribe, it is a day of remembrance for the fallen and departed, like the Auld Soldier.

For most people, it's baseball, barbecue, brats, beer, and the beginning of summer.

A not insignificant number of my military friends and family can get sad and yes, angry, at the celebratory aspect of things.

10301366_10203783864057273_3754134870374821996_n.jpgI do not.

The fallen fell, in no small part, so that the rest of us could enjoy these holidays, and would wish us to do so - and eat brats, drink beer, and swim.  If only because they would surely like to, and now they live through us.

So, have a good time, be safe, but do take a moment to remember those who are the flowers in the gardens of stone.

But do me a favor, six months from now - don't turn *my* day, Veteran's Day, into a second Memorial Day. Just as you don't need to spend this weekend thanking me for my service. This is Dad's day, now. November, that's my day. And Beth's.



 John, you remind me of an incident from my past. I remember an old soldier, who fought in Viet Nam. Where he was located, they were using Agent Orange. He would later have cancer, but by the time they found it, it was too late. He had terminal cancer and was not expected to live more than a week after they found it. They called his family and explained the situation and they made arrangements for them to be with him. I knew the whole family and I was told about the whole situation. This was many years ago and he asked me to visit him. Within an hour, I was there and the family gave permission for me to talk with him. I asked that the family stays there, I talked with him. He was in a local hospital and they were trying to make this as easy as possible on him.

I will never forget the counsel that both he and later his wife would give to me. He said, "Grump, it is OK to remember me, but what ever you do, don't dwell here. It is not your time. There will be plenty of time for us to dwell  together, in the future. Thank you, for all that you have done for me and my family. Now, I want you to go home and take care of yourself. This should be your highest priority. Now, go on home and enjoy the rest of your life." As I left, the wife followed me out the door. She said, "As good think about the past, please, don't forget the good times that we had together and we had fun together." After he died, the family sold the house and moved away and this was the last time that I ever saw him.

As I think about Memorial Day 2014, my body had been reminding me of the wisdom of this counsel. 
 John, Well done!