Memorial Day Twenty Thirteen

Memorial Day 2013 encompassed so much I'm not really sure where to even begin.  I spent the weekend in Washington DC, obviously the nation's capital, doing "American" things. (lol). The first thing, that I mentioned before, was the TAPS National Seminar and Good Grief Camp. TAPS is a really cool organization for surviving families. It was so amazing spending time with some awesome people in this community that no one wants to be a part of but luckily is so welcoming and loving. I got to see some gorgeous widdas that I haven't seen in quite some time but that I just adore, as well as meet new widdas and families. There were some different breakout sessions offered. My favorite one was the "Whispers of Love" session, where we learned about and discussed signs from our loved one. It was so awesome talking about and hearing about different signs. At the end of the session, I showed the instructor some of Jonny's photos from Afghanistan with tons of orbs in them. I believe these photos show the guys really do go back to watch over their own. If you don't believe that, that's fine, but I do. He was pretty astounded by the photos. He presented some things that definitely gave me chills.

one of Jonny's pics from Afghanistan filled with orbs

Of course, I enjoyed a night on the town with my gals. It is just so refreshing to be with people who get you. I also enjoyed some good cry sessions. I know it might be weird hearing that I "enjoyed" crying, but sometimes it just feels good to let go. During day-to-day life you don't really have time to cry. I know that sounds awful, but it's the truth. You get going with the everyday life, in and out, busy busy that life can get away from you. Sitting down with a good friend and really talking, and really getting to the heart of the matter, and letting the tears and the sobs out, it's freeing and I truly believe it's healthy. I don't think you should bottle it all in until then, of course, let it out when you need, but there is just something about sitting with someone who knows exactly where you're coming from and just gets it.
Some of the girls. I don't know where I'd be without these ladies to remind me I'm "normal"

We also attended the concert at the capitol and I've got to say this is where my grievance with Memorial Day played a big part. A couple people took this the wrong way, so please hear me out. I love the military. Both of my parents served. My grandfather served, my uncle served. Countless friends serve. I love the military and I love veterans. I think they should be thanked every day. Of course I love our guys who have given all and I think they should also be thanked every day. But here's the deal. They are not. There are, however, certain days set aside for acknowledging these groups of people. Memorial Day is the day to honor, remember, and thank those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, who have given their lives. While I think it's cool to thank the vets and all those serving every day, I think the focus of Memorial Day should be those who have died. Plain and simple. The focus should be the fallen. It doesn't mean I don't want everyone to ignore everyone serving, it doesn't mean I think the rest of the military should be quiet, it just means the focus, the presentations and the like, should be geared mostly toward the deceased. And when it comes to that, if they want to talk about families, it should be about the families left behind. I love military families, they are the support system to the military. They have a tough job. Hell, I am part of a military family, but on this day, it should be about the Gold Star families. At the concert, it felt like a Veteran's Day concert. Not that that's exactly a bad thing, it was just a little bit hurtful on the one day that is supposed to acknowledge the deceased. And that is my little rant, the little piece I have to say. Back to the weekend.

The concert was fun, even if a little irritating, and I enjoyed again spending time with fellow widows. Today we explored around DC. We visited the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean Memorial, and the World War II Memorial, yes in that order. I thought of all the guys that fell long before Jonathan and of all the families that have walked in such similar shoes to my own. I think of their survival and I remember that I am not alone, that so many have come before me and that we will be okay. It sucks, it hurts, but we will be okay. Vietnam was especially moving for me. My father is a Vietnam veteran and I know only a tiny portion of his life at that time and his experience. Minuscule, really. When I visit The Wall, I think of the friends my own father lost and what he has faced and lived with since he has come home. I think of the poor treatment of the service members in that day and I am thankful that my own husband, if he had to die, died in a time where he is honored. I think often of the families of those killed in Vietnam and I wonder what they had to go through and I hope they know that while it might have been a different world  then, their heroes are indeed heroes and they are indeed remembered. I got to find the name of the father of a friend of mine. Her dad was killed in Vietnam and she just reminds me of my own daughter. Ariana will live that life. It comforts me to know that she is a normal adult and all that good stuff (lol) and I was beyond honored to find her dad's name and get a rubbing.

We spent some time at Arlington. I visited a few of my friends' husbands, the guys that died during Jonny's deployment, and one more friend. It was nice to spend a little time with them. Arlington is such a peaceful place, and if I had chosen to bury Jonny I think I'd want him there. It's just a nice place. Strange to say about a graveyard but it's how I feel. 

I took the train home that afternoon and after  spending some much needed time with my little one (she isn't old enough for TAPS Good Grief Camp yet, so she'll most likely be going next year or soon thereafter) and got her in bed, I spent some time with my favorite fallen hero, my own. Many people post photos of the headstones when they visit their hero, so here is mine. We had a couple beers together and a nice chat. I miss this man more than I can even put into words. I so wish I could hear his answers when I speak to him. I will, however, settle with the fact that I felt his presence with me this weekend, as I often do. I know he's with me, and I'm even more certain he is with Ariana. So to my own hero, my beautiful Jonny, my Stink, Happy Memorial Day babe. You are not forgotten and as long as I breathe, you will not be forgotten.

This blog is in memory and honor of those who have given their lives for this country, who have paid the ultimate price for freedom. For the guys that served with my husband and were lost, for those who came before and after him, for the heroes of the widows and families I have met through this journey and those I have yet to meet. For every man and woman who were serving and can no longer be with us.
And to my own hero. My Stink. I love you. Forever and ever, babe. To the moon and back.

I also want to thank all the people who kept me, my family, and all the fallen and their families in their thoughts today. I received so many heartfelt messages on facebook, instagram, and text messages and I just want to thank you all for not forgetting Jonny and the fallen heroes and for not forgetting Ariana, me and the gold star families. Y'all are great :)

Happy Memorial Day
and Semper Fi,

Mrs. P


  1. Per usual, this was a beautiful and incredibly well written post.

    It has driven me crazy watching people treat today like Veteran's Day. I absolutely believe in always thanking servicemembers for their service, but the focus of today should be on those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Veteran's Day is in September.

  2. I thought about you this weekend <3

    I'm far from a "ghost hunter" but do a lot of studying as far as the paranormal goes and orb pictuers are a popular one. A lot of "orbs" can be debunked as dust, watermarks, light reflection etc but also, I truly believe we can "capture" our departed ones. That is a great photo too! If you didn't mind, I saved that one so I can zoom in some more...the "white orb" is very interesting because its a solid white...not a transparent or "reflective" orb. Okay, I need to shut up because I won't stop once you get me started :P

    I see a great change in you, keep moving forward and always remember that Jonny is with you and Ariana!

  3. This is amazingly written! I will never forget the sacrifices so many men make over there! God bless

  4. First of all I just stumbled upon this post randomly from another blogger. I want to say I admire your strength and truly are an inspiration.
    Secondly, I could not agree more on this post. I posted a similar message on my blog yesterday as I found myself surrounded all day seeing on FB and IG pictures of military spouses posting pictures of their very much alive husbands honoring him on Memorial Day all for some sort of embarrassing gratification from the civilian world. Anyways this is turning into another rant. Very well written post and I think you held yourself together for if it was myself in your shoes I probably would have started with a couple of F bombs. Kudos to you and many many virtual online in a non creepy way hugs sister friend.

  5. Thank you so much for the sacrifice you have made by being a military wife. I cannot imagine everything you have gone through. I think and pray about you and Ariana and the other men, women, and children in your same shoes. God bless!

  6. Hello to the fab Mrs P. I am new to the blogging world and I came across yours and I loved it! Cute blog name, layout, and I can't wait to read more. God bless your husband for his sacrifice.

    My best friend Keith was killed in 2007 in Iraq, roadside bomb.


  7. Ah, my dear Mrs. P. I know I have said it before, but I am so proud to call you my sister. Your strength is amazing and I want you to know that I think of you often. Especially when working in my arena of preventing, treating and educating wounded service members and their families on a daily basis. It's always a constant reminder of those we've lost to these wars and a reminder that I'm here, no matter how small of a part I play, to try and prevent more loss and to help protect those who risk their lives protecting us.

    It always irked me as well about Memorial Day. It's fine to remind yourself to thank a veteran or those currently surving in our armed forces, but it is so incredibly unfortunate that our fallen have been a tad overshadowed by just the lack of understanding of the day to remember and honor those we've lost. Sending so many thoughts, love and prayers your way m'dear. LIOB. <3

  8. I just dropped by to say that I feel like your explanation here helped me to understand better what you were trying to say before - and that I'm sorry if I didn't quite get the point of what you were trying to express. I definitely didn't mean to upset any of your friends. But most importantly - for whatever it's worth - I'm glad to better understand really what you were saying.

  9. I agree with you about Memorial Day.

    That's all I got for now. Lol


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