Today I push the pause button on my busy live, and miss the ones who have passed. Not just the military members but all of the lovely souls who have crossed my path and brushed my life with their presence. The most recent are the ones who still have grief connected to their memory. Perhaps that never goes away. My Brother, Father-in-law, Uncle, Student, Friend, Grandparent, Dad… the list is long. Perhaps that is the cost of love, the cost of being alive, the cost of being left. I think about my loved ones and decorate graves, brushing their names with my fingers, if only in my thoughts for many are buried too far away to actually visit. Pausing ever so quietly, I remember their contribution to my life and the lives of my children. Often a smile, unintentionally invades my solemn thoughts and escapes through my face, as memories flow. A laugh, a giggle, a tear, but once again I allow my past loved one to touch me.
Our military loved ones line a gently sloping green hillside with their stark white stones, in one final military formation alongside their fellow servicemen who served their country proudly. The vast number of white stones, imprint an awe of their sacrifice, on the minds of the observer. Taps floats quietly on the wind over the top of the hill. Some of these young men came home to find themselves forever different because of the things they saw and experienced. Some never came home. Each and every one of these men served proudly and served well. I wander the hillside looking for a specific name, a person who touched my life on this earth. I want to run my fingers over his name and remember his contribution to both his country and my life. This time the white stone is personal. This time the sacrifice was mine. The cold, starkness of the white stone falls away, as I remember that loved one with fond adoration. A smile creeps passed my solemn thoughts…. and it is time to go!
As with life, it must go on, I say with no regret, “Let the Barbecue begin! Summer is here, connect, play, love!”