How am I supposed to pay full respects to those who gave their life for this country's freedom, with this being a day marked to remember the fallen, when all I can do, is think of you.
Memorial Day, exactly what its name implies, a day of remembering. A time to recall, to think, to remember, to offer a moment set aside, just to say and be thankful for those who gave all, for us. Those members of any and all branches of the military. There will always be those who speak against wars, you gave them that protected right. There will always be those who complain about our government and elected officials, without offering any other options. They complain, they argue, they whine, you fought, and you died, for them to have that right. Today, is the day set aside to remember. Today, many are off of work and home preparing to spend time with friends and family. Some will know and understand the significance of the day, some will simply see it as a day for cook outs and laughter. I'm off from work, and I am remembering the ones who gave all for their country, but my heart hurts for more than that. I miss you.
There are days when the pain silences the words of my heart. All I can do is stand at the front door and stare out into the yard, seeing but not seeing, you. I stand there, not hearing and yet hearing the sounds of that big diesel engine pulling down the road, the sound of those air brakes and you park that rig and prepare to come up to the house. I don't see, but yet I see, the dogs as they jump up and stare down across the yard, waiting your approach. Their excitement of your return evident. There on the table beside your chair is the can of soda that you were drinking. I haven't yet had the heart to toss the can into the recycling box. Your belongings that were in the truck, that were packed up and returned to us, still sit packed up in the other room. I have no need for much of that, but can't seem to part with it. Those things were yours, those things helped you along the way. Some prepared your food, your television, that portable dvd player that I don't know if you ever got to use, your cb radio. Part of me is tempted to purchase a big ole whip antenna for the back of the explorer and have it installed but things aren't what they once were and the citizens band craze died a long time ago. Eventually I will have to do something, even as they keep me close to you, the memories do at times hurt.
James moved the box for the television out of the bedroom and into this one. You know that I didn't really watch that much television. It seemed that every time I tried you interrupted in some way so I got out of the habit. I turn it on now for the noise, its much too quiet around here with you gone. Right now I'm sitting here, remembering you and listening to the crows outside. I would rather be hearing your voice asking if I had done this or that, asking if I wanted to go out to eat, asking if I would prepare you a cup of coffee..all I hear are the crows.
Speaking of James, he changed out one of the ceiling fans in the kitchen. I helped a little, but he did most of it. He has really stepped up. He does miss you though, even as he doesn't say much, you can see it in his eyes. Can you see us from Heaven? Did you see him go down to Atlanta for that gaming convention? I was nervous for him, but proud of him for getting out and getting away. Like you have often said, he doesn't need to be right under my feet all the time. He is a grown man, and a good man. I'm proud of who he has become as I know you are.
I was trying to clean this room. I always joke that anything that doesn't have a set place in the rest of the house ends up in here. From the looks of it, that isn't a false statement. I managed to get some done, but I couldn't do anything with the stuff on the shelves or the top of the desk right inside the doorway. Every... single... time... you came home, you would come in here and pick the same things up at random asking what they were. Even though I had told you the last time you were home and picked up the same items. Yes, I know, not everyone picks up rocks, not everyone has a room full of various Relay for Life cups, key rings. notepads or any other variety of items. Not everyone has stacks of hats. Not everyone, has to look at this collection, and remember.
The fact that I know you were a child of God, that you gave your life to him some years back has helped. I spend a lot of time in prayer, some days I am a walking prayer. I've started reading my Bible more often. I listen to that faith based radio station. All are helping to ease the pain, but I know it will always be there. That dull, breath stealing ache in the pit of my heart. Thirty-two years of marriage, so long together, this living without you is so strange. I guess the fact that you drove long haul and were gone so much has helped some, but not a lot. I forget my phone a lot now. I hate having it near me, because I want to call you so badly.
As I sit here, writing this, it gives me a better understanding of what families go through, when their loved one is lost to war. When they know that they will never hear that beloved voice again. when they know, they will never again have to deal with the frustrations and annoyances that was a part of them. When they miss those very annoyances to the point of pain. They have the knowledge that their loved one gave their life for the freedoms of this great land. They know, that it was te ultimate sacrifice, that was possible from the moment their loved one signed on to which ever branch of service they chose.
I have the knowledge, that you chose to drive that truck, long haul, to provide for us. You did it, because even though you knew it would take you away from us, that you would miss so much, you would at least be providing for us the things we needed. You kept a roof over our heads, bills paid and food bought. You did this, even with all of the handicaps you fought.
I love you. I miss you. I will always hold you in my heart, remembering.