"Happy" Memorial Day?

A friend shared this with me the other day and it really struck a nerve. I have several friends for whom this day holds special, and painful, meaning. It is not a "happy" day but it is a day for reflection and gratitude for those whose sacrifices preserve our freedoms. Though every day should be that day.

"Every year at this time I fight with the idea that people tell me "Happy Memorial Day". People that know me, know what Ive gone through... still say it to me. Family still says it. For the rest who say it, do you think that there is anything "happy" at all about remembering all those who have died for this country? I blog about this every year and I dont think there will ever be a year that I dont. When I hear those three words my skin crawls.

"Happy Memorial Day"...it seems to just flow of the tongues of those around us. As though Memorial Day is just any other "holiday" to be celebrated with joy and happiness. When someone says "Hey Happy Memorial Day" what exactly are they so "happy" about? Maybe its the extra 20% or 30% they will get off beach towels at Macys, or maybe its the fact that they are off work, cooking out and not paying any attention to why they are really off work. Do these "happy" people take any time during their day off to share a moment thinking of those who paid the ultimate price for them to be off work and cooking out, or shopping "the big sale"??

Do people take the time to teach and show their children the importance of Memorial Day? Do they take them to a National Cemetery and show them all the lives that have been lost, tell them what that means for those who are still alive? Do they educate their children to show respect to those who have fallen for all the freedoms we take for granted every damn day? Do they just take a moment, a simple moment in their day to show that they care, or understand what the day is about?

My first Memorial Day I was not willing to admit that it had anything to do with Chris. We had always gone and placed flags at grave sites on this day. My first Memorial Day I did the same thing with Oliver and Owen in tow. But on that first one, there were more deaths. A CPT Alex Funkhouser was killed while in the line of duty not only to his country but to US reporters in Iraq. I knew that all that I had been feeling since January 5, his wife would now feel too. My heart broke for I knew every Memorial Day she would have a double heart wrenching reminder of her husband's death. I knew that she would face Memorial Day and the 29th of May, double days for her. Little did I know that this wife, now a new widow like me would become one of my best friends. Little did I know that she had two girls close to my two boy's age. Little did I know that our lives ran in such a parallel manner.

My second Memorial Day I took the boys and we went to Virginia to see Chris' mom. I wanted to spend this Memorial Day with Chris at Arlington. I wanted the boys to see that they were not only, not alone; but that they could still be near their father. As that day went on there were more cameras taking pictures of them by the Chris' grave.(One made it to the front page of the Washington Post the next day) There were families that just stood there, paying their respects and as the tears flowed down their cheeks they watched Oliver fix a flag by Chris' grave. They watched Owen pluck the heads of the flowers there and they watched a mother with tears in her eyes as she realized this was her reality, this was her life. Watching her two boys "play" with or by their father...the only way they ever would be able to.

As I looked around and saw their faces, their tears and their heads shaking back and forth; I realized that yes there are those out there that dont say "Happy Memorial Day", they come to Arlington to pay their respects to OUR fallen. They come to be with those who have paid the ultimate and spend time with their families. There was a father there, in uniform and beside him was his little son in BDUs. They stood at attention as TAPS played. I was so taken by this that I asked him why he does this with his son and he said "death is a part of life, death for your country is going beyond what life can offer" "I want my son to realize what this day is for. Not just a day off school or work, I want him to understand and respect the magnitude of what and who and why we have set this day aside to honor and remember those who have died in combat". I burst into tears, gave him a big hug and as I let go of him he and his son saluted the boys and I and then went to salute Chris. (Gosh I have tears running down my face typing this) I have never seen the true meaning in any one person's eyes of what Memeorial Day means to them then that of those eyes that day.

So I ask that if you dont know anyone who has been affected by a war death, to please at least teach your children what Memorial Day is for. Take them to a National Cemetary and place a few flags, go on and google Memorial Day, teach them about what this day means. This is just a small thing to do, teach your kids what this country is about, teach them why we need to stand up for it, love it, and protect it. That is the BEST way to honor our fallen, those who faught and died for what they beleived in. For those familieas that struggle everyday without their loved one, this is a small gesture for them too. It tells us that our loved one, did not die in vein. If you do know someone who has lost someone to a war, this one or any previous, please take the time to just tell them you are thinking about them, you are greatful and love them. But please dont say "Happy Memorial Day" to them...for us there is nothing "happy" about it.

To all my widsters that might read this, know that on Memorial Day, your Anniversaries and every day of the year, I think of OUR HEROES! I think about your families, your pain, your hearts your children and your happiness. For those who have lost a family member to previous wars, my heart and my thoughts are always with you too. Thank you for your loved ones service to our great nation, I am forever in their debt for their sacrafice.

May this Memorial Day bring you comfort in knowing that our Great Nation aknowledges and says "Thank You" for the sacrafice OURS and THEIR HEROES have made for us and them!

May we raise a glass to OUR HEROES! WE love you...We miss you...We are proud of you....We are forever YOURS!"


- hfs


Mr. Morton needs to be fired

Top Official Says Feds May Not Process Illegals Referred From Arizona

John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, made the comment during a meeting on Wednesday with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, the newspaper reports.

"I don't think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution," Morton told the newspaper.

Last I checked, Mr. Morton, it's not your place to determine the solution all by your lonesome. Exactly who do you think you are? This country is a Republic comprised of individual states who have the right and the responsibility to establish their own laws. Assuming that the Arizona immigration law does not violate the United States Constitution, it is not up to ICE or Mr. Morton to pick and choose what laws he will and will not enforce. If he cannot - or WILL NOT - do his job then he should be fired.

And, on a side note to Mexico's president, Felipe Calderone...howzabout you take care of your own country and fix your own problems before you try coming across the border to OUR White House and badmouthing OUR states' laws. If you'd take care of your own backyard first, maybe we wouldn't NEED laws like what Arizona has enacted.


- hfs


Here and there

and everywhere. Well, maybe not everywhere. But I'm still here.


I am done.

I managed to pull a 3.7 for the semester which - given the circumstances of my life at the moment - is pretty damn impressive. I think I deserve a medal. Ok - maybe just a brownie. I missed the Dean's List by 0.1 point and had to fight for the 'A' in my Anatomy lecture because my professor left a lot to be desired when it came to organizational or communication skills. But I got it (I earned it so there really shouldn't have been a fight) which is all that matters.

UPDATE: I just checked my grades and by some miracle (and it was a miracle...I know what my test scores were) I earned an 'A' in the one class that I thought I'd get a 'B' in. So I pulled a 4.0 this semester. That definitely earns me a medal. AND a brownie!

So, for now, I am pretty much squared away with regard to prerequisites for Nursing school. No idea if I'll actually go but if I need to, I'm prepared. I could stand to take one more psych class (Developmental Psych) because the FIVE other psych classes I've taken over the course of my post-secondary educational career (yes, FIVE) aren't enough for nursing school. But that's not possible right now so I'll just have to hope I am able to either scoot around that requirement (if I've learned nothing else as an Army spouse, it's that EVERYTHING is waiverable) or talk someone into giving me credit for it based on the FIVE other psych classes I've taken in the past.

No idea where I'd go to school. I've put in at a few Junior Colleges in SoCal. And I've looked at schools in Tyler, Texas as well as Armstrong Atlantic in Savannah. At this point - like everything else in my life - it's up in the air so I'll worry about it when the time comes.

The kids have about a week left of school. They are ready to be done. I am ready for them to be done. This year has left a lot to be desired and I'm looking forward to homeschooling them myself next year if that winds up being possible.

MacGyver acquired two old jet skis a while back and has been working on rebuilding them (that's what he does. Hence the name "MacGyver"). He's taken them out a few times for test runs down by the airport and had spotty success. But last week he was able to get them running well so we went out with some friends from church (they have a boat and like to go water skiing and tubing) and they both ran pretty well for a bit. They both are tempermental (like me!) and took some coaxing to get going but they ran. The yellow one gave out before the purple one and I was able to get a good ride in on the purple one. That was awesome - I haven't jet skiied in over 15 years. After the skis died (they both need new batteries among other things) we hit the tubes and got tossed around pretty good. I'm not as young as I used to be and I'm STILL feeling it today (it's Monday. We went out Saturday.). But oh, it was so much fun.

Supposedly there is video of me flying off the tube - I'll have to track it down and watch it.

This week I have declared war on crap in my house. I let it go this semester because I just couldn't keep up but now that school is over, the gloves are off. Today was the office and it has been pretty well beaten into submission. Tomorrow I tackle the master bedroom and hall/craft closet.

Fun times.


- hfs


War of my Life


Come out angels,
Come out ghosts,
Come out darkness,
Bring everyone you know.
I'm not running,
and I'm not scared,
I am waiting,
And well prepared.

I'm in the war of my life,
At the door of my life,
Out of time
and there's nowhere to run

I've got a hammer,
And a heart of glass
I gotta know right now
which walls to smash
I got a pocket
Got no pills
If fear hasn't killed me yet,
then nothing will
All the suffering and all the pain
Never left a name

I'm in the war of my life,
at the door of my life,
out of time
and there's nowhere to run
I'm in the war of my life,
at the core of my life
Got no choice but to fight til its done

No more suffering, no more pain
Never again

I'm in the war of my life,
at the door of my life,
out of time
and there's nowhere to run
I'm in the war of my life,
at the core of my life
Got no choice but to fight til its done

So fight on,
fight on everyone
fight on
got no choice but to fight til it's done
I won't give up
I won't run
I won't stop for anyone


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...