MEMORIAL DAY 2009
AND BIRTHDAY NUMBER 76
AND BIRTHDAY NUMBER 76
WWI I have no recollection. There were some old men around the country area where our farm was located--outside Cincinnati. One had no legs, one was missing an arm, one fellow was always shaking with "the nerves", but these, to me, were just has-been fellows who'd run into some hard luck.
Then came WWII in which I had relatives fighting on Guadalcanal beaches, flying B-17 Bombers over German cities. One cousin was shot down over France and parachuted onto a French farm. The French farmer turned him in and he became a prisoner for almost four years. He used to write letters (called V-Mail) which had been greatly censored. But he did get by writing things like, "They feed us a lot of Bologna (pronounced 'baloney!' by all who knew him) over here." One cousin was in the Anti-Tank Corps in North Africa. He came home with all limbs attached.
The most favorite stories were told me by Bobbie Benson, a neighbor. A U.S. Marine, he fought hand-to-hand combat with Japanese soldiers on Guadalcanal. His descriptions of firing a sub-machine gun at enemy soldiers, snipers, hiding high up in palm trees, are the stuff of which movies were made.
In fact, the early August 1942 beach landings, he would relate to us, were such danger-filled hours, until some security was established, that anyone who came out alive was truly by God Himself destined for future greatness--not in the eyes of the world, but in spiritual sightedness. I got to feel, taste, see, and smell the horrors of war through the eyes of a Marine who had spent sleepless nights on blood-soaked sand.
Though I was too young to be part of the military, much of what I remember was from a point of view of the home front war. It was well-waged, important, and a necessary spoke in the great wheel of effort which eventually won out over the forces of the Axis. I wore military garb from the age of 8-13. Stuff that cousins and friends sent me from "over there"...
Yes, I remember the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sitting on their front porches, with one or more flags in the window behind them, signifying that a son or a husband or father would never return home bodily, but would be buried on a foreign shore.
And I pray silently and often for those who went before, and those who are now giving of their time, their jobs, their homes, their health, their wonderful early years, their comforts, their arms, legs, minds, and yes...their lives. And my prayer begins with "THANK YOU!"
I can only hope we make our lives and our country's life worth all what they have given. I hope we don't FK this thing up, as Dr Bob S might have said to Bill W. (They changed Dr Bob's words to "Let's not louse this thing up, Bill."---grin!)
In the other half of this blog, I wish to letch'y'all know, today May 25 is my birthday. I never put much stock in my own birthday. In fact, I have great plans for the day. Included are mowing the grass (Ugh!) trimming LOTS of bushes, weeding, washing, sweeping, etc.
It could even be a two-day celebration, because there is NO WAY I can get all that done by myself tomorrow. Of course, my day will begin with kneeling (a fairly new 'thing' for me!), two AA meetings, and great bike rides, then to work in the yard.
Almost forgot, I promised Prayer Girl I'd join her for coffee at a Starbucks, don't know the time yet, whenever she is free of her meetings, and sponsee meetings, etc. I can hear someone thinking, "Isn't that just 'precious'? A birthday coffee at Starbucks!" Well.....yeah!
I feel like I've short-changed my blog when I don't write about alcoholism recovery but ya know, nearly half my life has been lived in sobriety. I should begin to start acting my age (but not today--or tomorrow!).
Guess I'm just me, but trying to change--it is so slow--change. WHO said hurry it up a bit? Hmmmmmm, time to end this blog, with wishes that while we all stay sober today, we will also all experience Peace, and LOVE.