Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 And B'DAY


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.

Steve E


Hope said...

Happy Birthday Steve. I hope you have a great day!

Findon said...

Happy birthday Steve. Thanks for the thoughts on memorial day. Nearly half a life sober, I guess you and us may have never had that half, so I'm glad you made the decision and stuck with it. I appreciate what I read from you and for the introduction you gave for me to everyone.
Have a goo day.

Anonymous said...

Happy happy birthday my much-loved friend and many many more!

xxMary LA

Just Be Real said...

"They say it is your birthday.....well happy birthday too you!!!"

Appreciate the Memorial Day post dear one. Blessings and enjoy yor special day!!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Happy Happy Belly Button Birthday my friend.

Glad you get to the drink of your choice, with the girl of your heart, on the day of your birth!

Much love sent your way!

Prayer Girl said...

Happy Birthday Hubby!


Mary Christine said...

Happy Birthday Steve. And thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Carol said...

Happy Birthday. It's good to be alive.

dAAve said...

Happy Birthday Mr Steve E. Enjoy it tremendously!!

Rachel said...

First of all, Happy Birthday to You!!! I have read through some of your blogs, and I really enjoyed them. I love your youthful spirit...reminds me sooo much of grandfather. You are a beautiful example of how to grow old with grace.

Secondly, thank you so much for your comment on my blog. Means a lot to me. Really. I struggled with drug addiction and an eating disorder for many years, and although I may not always write about those things, my reflections on life are what keep my soul healthy. Like you, I am a work in progress.

You have truly brightened my day. Enjoy yours!! Happy Birthday again!!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Dear Steve,

No matter what you write about I find that I learn grow and always come away feeling better for reading your blog.

Much love to you today dear friend...Happy Birthday!!!!


Rainbow said...


Lou said...

All I can say on your special day is "I should be so lucky."

Birthday coffee at Starbucks--it doesn't get any better than that. Except for a 2nd cup later in the afternoon;)

Queenneenee said...

Big ol birthday hugs to you Mr Roni. Thanks for being such an inspiration. You rock Mr.

Atiyanna said...

Happy Birthday Steveroni!! Big hugs to you and a birthday kiss too..

Pat said...

Hope your birthday was a good one!

I can only remember back to Viet Nam...

Ed G. said...

Happy b'day Steve - I wish you another 76 even better than the last...

Shadow said...

i missed your birthday!!!!! happy belated birthday dear steve! hope you had a wonderful day and a good cuppa coffee with pg. may this year bring you lots of love and smiles and memories.

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Connections - click- click and here I am ... Belated Birthday Cheer - I too, shared this weekend with a "Tribute" to one who, on the front line of "progress," lost his life.

Music is among my many passions...

Sharing your "grin."

Rose Marie Raccioppi

Syd said...

Steve, I'm sorry that I missed your birthday. So I'm giving you a belated birthday wish here. And you know, you do get to celebrate it all week. At least that's a tradition that I started. Have a good one and a happy celebratory week.

jeannette stgermain said...

belated Birtday, Steve. I don't think you shortchange your blog if you also talk about other things than your sobriety!
Yes, it's time to act your age (but maybe that is very different than you always envisioned!! Adults make plenty of mistakes, are not always wise or responsible, and are someimes in need of help:) )