As we gratefully remember…another thought on Memorial Day.

This year, I noticed several people on social media shared a very good thought. One I needed to be reminded of.

At the end of last week’s post, I wished everyone a Happy Memorial Day. It was a sign-off, something written without giving it much thought. And then I began reading several posts that reminded us what the day was really about. It’s not a happy kind of day at all…rather it’s a day to remember and be thankful…very thankful for the sacrifice of so many.

At the same time, I received an email from a friend that was so deeply moving. I asked permission to share it. Turns out it was a compilation of two articles from Fox News. I’m including the links below but am going to reprint what he put together after reading the articles himself.

May it touch your hearts as well…as we gratefully remember.

From Robert O’Neill, the Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden:

Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about the loss of the brave men and women of our armed forces who died in combat defending America. Memorial Day is not a celebration.

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid.

From former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink (speaking as if he were a fallen soldier):

I am the fallen soldier, sailor, airman, and marine. Remember me.

I am the one that held the line. Sometimes I volunteered. Sometimes I went because I was told to go.  But when the nation called – I answered.

In order to serve, I left behind the family, friends, and freedom that so many take for granted.

The machines of war evolved and changed with the times. But remember that it was always me – the warrior – that had to fight our nation’s enemies.

As technology advanced, I used night vision goggles and global positioning systems and drones and lasers and thermal optics. But it was still me, a human being, that did the work.

It was me that patrolled up the mountains or across the desert or through the streets. It was me that suffered in the merciless heat and the bitter cold. It was me that went out, night after night, to confront our nation’s enemies and confront evil face to face.

It was me.

Remember me. I was a warrior.

That I was not only a warrior. I was not just a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.

Remember also: that I was a son, a brother, a father. I was a daughter, a sister, a mother.

I was a person – like you – a real person with hopes and dreams for the future.

I wanted to have children. I wanted to watch my children grow up. I wanted to see my son score a touchdown or shoot the winning basket. I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.

I wanted to kiss my wife again. I wanted to grow old with her – and be there to hold her hand when life grew hard.

When I told her I would be with her until the end – I meant it. When I told my children I would always be there for them – I meant it. But I gave all that away.

All of it.

Or on the unforgiving sea where we fought against the enemy and against the depths of the abyss. There, in those awful places: I held the line. I did not waiver and I did not hesitate. I The Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.

I stood my ground and sacrificed my life – my future, my hopes, my dreams. I sacrificed everything – for you.

This Memorial Day, remember me: the fallen warrior. And remember me not for my sake – but for yours. Remember what I sacrificed so you can truly appreciate the incredible treasures you have: Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.

You have the joys of life, the joys that I gave up, so that you can relish in them:

A cool wind in the air.

The gentle spring grass on your bare feet.

The warm summer sun on your face.

Family. Friends. And freedom.

Never forget where it all came from. It came from sacrifice: The supreme sacrifice.

Don’t waste it. Don’t waste any of your time on this earth.

Live a life that honors the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.

Remember them always. And make every day… Memorial Day.

Reference: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/26/seal-who-shot-bin-laden-dont-wish-me-happy-memorial-day.html

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/25/ex-seal-jocko-willink-remember-warriors-who-made-supreme-sacrifice-dont-waste-your-time-on-earth.html

Until next time…Mimi

 

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A little rain doesn’t bother this family.

A little rain doesn’t bother this family.

This Memorial Weekend was predicted to be nothing more than rain, rain, and more rain from Tropical Storm Alberto. But we were pleasantly surprised that other than a few passing showers, it was basically a non-event.

The Lynch-Turner-Dougherty family was able to get together and enjoy a combo birthday party for my dad as well as a Memorial Day celebration.

While the kids played with bubbles out on the lanai, the adults toasted the family’s patriarch with their own delicious Proseco bubbles.

The rain held off while Greg grilled some chicken and after lunch the men, boys, and Addison hit the pool while the ladies and Addie stayed behind to play wiffle ball. Of course, that’s just about the time it decided to finally begin raining so swimming and ball playing were both done in the drizzle. No matter to any of us; it was still great fun.

Then it was time for the birthday celebration but instead of cake, it was homemade ice cream sandwiches for everyone. Ah, chocolate chip mint sandwiched between two homemade chocolate chip cookies. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a muggy, hot day.

But even better than ice cream, was hanging in the garage. Since we were unsure if the rain would get heavier, we had set up cornhole in there and provided a table for the kids to play games. Gathered together for the big cornhole championship, we watched Tim beat player after player while the kids enjoyed some screen time.

Simple and easy. And not letting the rain dictate our fun. It was a wonderful day wrapped in the joy of being with family. Happy 92nd Dad! And Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Mimi

Is my whole life “pending?”

Sitting down to do some computer work this morning, I found myself opening various file folders where I had stored items for a future looksee.

First up were two different iPhone dumps. This is where I temporarily store iPhone pictures every so often so I can get them off my phone. Sitting in a labeled file folder on my desktop, I know right where they are and can easily access them when ready. And when I am “at the ready” I delete most, rename the ones I’m keeping, then store them in the appropriate file folder in another location. Easy peasy.

Most of my other file folders have very specific functions as well. But then there’s my PENDING folder. This is truly a dump folder. Upon opening it today, I discovered recipes I want to try, research on a water filtration system I no longer need, a sweet note I kept from my daughter-in-law, a craft idea I hope to work on in the future, some ideas for a future Florida drive vacation, the drawing course I downloaded from Great Courses, and a host of other items too diverse to properly file at this point, but nevertheless things I want to hold on to.

Looking through that folder made me realize I have a lot of other pending items in my life. And it’s time to work on them. Greg and I really do need a get-away and a driving trip is probably the easiest to plan and the quickest to execute. So why haven’t I done anything about it?

And those recipes are calling out to me as I so often find myself preparing the “same old” stuff night after night and it’s as boring to eat as it is to prepare.

And the craft idea? Oh please. I have way too many hopes of turning trash into treasure and receiving accolades galore at my creativity.

Have I done anything at all from my pending list? Well, yes, I have. I made two blanket ladders as Mother’s Day gifts to my girls. I have tried a recipe or two. And I have the start of a Florida driving trip planned out.

So, I’m not condemning myself, I’m just realizing, I have fewer years ahead than I have behind me. And to-lists and bucket list items are great, but now is the time to put them into action.

So, the immediate course of action is to review the pending file often and start making plans I intend to follow through on. That means new meals for Greg (I think I hear a big cheer from him), hopefully a fun road trip to explore new places in the next month or two, and time put aside to finally learn to draw something other than stick figures.

How about you? What’s on your to-do list or in your own pending file?

Mimi

Mother’s Day

What a fun Mother’s Day celebration.

It began last Tuesday when Greg and I got to attend 7-year-old Callan’s spring concert. Short, sweet, and all fun music. Just the way we like it.

Grandparents love to support their grands but let’s face it, sometimes concerts or plays or ballgames can be tedious. This one was just fantastic. And it warmed our hearts to hear how important it was to Callan to look just right from his hair to his clothes, to his tie. He looks pretty darn cute, doesn’t he!

Hanging with part of the family for a little bit is a great reminder of being a mom to my own kids. It brings back many sweet memories of their school productions and sporting events. It was always great fun to participate and be the proud spectating parent. But this time, it’s even better because we get to watch not only the grandkids do their thing, but we get to watch our own kids enjoy their little ones…something that brings great, great joy.

As if that wasn’t enough, we go to spend the weekend with Tim and family, too. Doing life together, just the ordinary stuff is so wonderful.

Friday was family dinner and playing with the girls. Saturday was chore day for Greg and Tim as they tackled some yard projects while I got to enjoy time seeing the forts Addie made and watching Zoe practice the hoola hoop over and over again. She even took time out to teach her PopPop. I must say, he learned pretty quick!

Science experiments with their mom finished up the day. They sure had fun measuring precisely and watching things erupt.

While Tim and Sarah had a date night, we did, too…with our granddaughters. Chick-Fil-A was a huge hit as we got to not only eat, but play, too. The girls were in the playground area for nearly an hour!

Being a mom and now a grandma are two of the big highlights of my life, with marrying the love of my life Greg as #1. God has been so good to me. And my family is my biggest joy on earth. It was a happy Mother’s Day, indeed.

Cinco De Mayo? More like Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

May 7, 2018

Long before I had ever heard of Cinco de Mayo, May 5 held a much more important place in my heart. And that’s because it’s my parents’ anniversary.

Nearly 65 Years!

Mom passed away two years ago just a week before what would have celebrated being married for 65 years. 65 years! That’s amazing. It’s so rare for that to happen. And I’m delighted to let you know Greg and I are working hard on following their example as we’ll be celebrating 44 years this November.

So, while many celebrated Cinco de Mayo this past weekend, I spent some time thinking about my parents’ long marriage. And two things stood out: love and commitment.

Til Death Do Us Part

Most people marry for love and many make vows of commitment. But the love a marriage should be based on, is one that says “no matter what.” Because let’s face it; sometimes we’re not quite as lovable as we could be or should be.

Add to that the storms and turbulent times we all experience, and it becomes so very clear that without a foundation of love and a very strong commitment to each other, the marriage might not endure.

My parents did not have a perfect marriage. I dare so no one does, me included. But the secret to my parents’ long one was simply that they loved each other and were committed to each other “til death do us part.

What a great example to their kids, grandkids, and great-grands.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. You set the bar high.

Mimi

Off course.

Visited Costco two weeks ago. Typically, that’s a $100 or $200 hit. Today it was a $900 one!!!

Two eye exams, three new pairs of glasses ordered, and a $135 shopping trip. Yikes, that adds up fast!

Feeling Grateful

But today, instead of being miffed about spending all that money, I’m actually feeling grateful. I’ve been having daily headaches for about a month. Tough ones, every day around 4pm. The eye doc feels certain tweaking my script just a bit and getting a slightly bigger lens with more reading area will resolve them.

And ever since Greg got new glasses two years ago from a competitor, he’s been getting dizzy when he wears them while walking. His glasses are quite expensive so he didn’t want to think about purchasing new ones. But he’s basically been miserable and not wearing the glasses as much as he should. The eye doctor discovered his lenses were not allowing his eyes to work together so she tweaked his script as well which should correct the error and allow him an easier time while wearing them.

In both our cases, the scripts were close; they just weren’t close enough. And with some very slight adjustments, the encouragement is that our troubles will be fixed. Which means no more late afternoon headaches for me and the dizziness for Greg should abate as well.

Being off just a bit can have an effect on…well, everything!

Sometimes we make big deal choices and super bad decisions that really mess us up and take us further from God. And most of those are easy to spot. But other times it’s little things, like the prescriptions on our eye glasses. Things that seem insignificant. Things that most people would ignore.

But over time, these small decisions, small “disobediences” to God result in getting us further and further from Him. And they can have devastating effects.

It doesn’t take much to get us off course.

Our friend Bob Taylor used to remind us that even a tiny deviation at the beginning, if not corrected, will continue to get us farther and farther from the Lord. And this type of path is so dangerous because we don’t really know how far we’re straying until we’re really far away. At the beginning we feel as if we’re right next to the Lord but the illustration below shows how devious this thinking can be as we’re lulled into thinking all is well when in reality we’re in trouble. (Imagine this is one long piece of paper, rather than three segments. If you look at the far left of the top illustration and see the far right of the bottom one, you can see how being very slightly off course ends up with disastrous results.)

The Narrow Gate

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Even choices that aren’t necessarily wrong but lead us just ever so slightly away from God rather than toward the narrow gate He is asking us to enter, carry consequences and can interfere with our relationship with God.

I want to be aware daily of my Christian walk. I want to make good choices that please God, where my utter dependency on Him is evident, and that result in an ever-closer relationship with the one who is my whole purpose for being.

Mimi

Now that was some party!

Ever heard of a game truck? It’s a mobile gaming center that comes to you. Check out those pictures.

For Callan’s 7th birthday, a game truck came for the afternoon offering all sorts of fun for a bunch of his friends as they duked it out for a few hours playing the latest and greatest video games.

Back in the day…

Birthday parties are so different today, aren’t they? Back in the day, when I was a wee one, birthday parties were spent in a blow-up pool in someone’s backyard, or by playing games such as dropping clothespins into a bottle or pin the tail on the donkey. And we thought it was a blast.

Things began changing.

When my kids were young, things began to change. Themed parties and destination parties began. We would go to Burger King or perhaps the park. Kate had an aerobics party one year and when she was 10 she and her friends went to the salon to have their nails done. For me, these were a bit easier because I never quite felt creative enough to host a really fun party at home.

Today’s parties offer even more choices.

Now the party can come to you. Bounce houses, fun water slides, game trucks…you name it, and I bet it’s available. This is such a help for today’s busy parents. I have a feeling the kids at Callan’s party today will be talking about this for a long time. (I almost wish I was there…but then, I don’t do very well with today’s gaming. However, a great game of Pong or Pac Man would be enticing indeed!)

What are some of the fun birthday parties you remember as a kid or that you threw for your own children?

Mimi