I don’t only grieve these losses. I grieve the death of every military man and woman, whether they passed while training to secure freedom, providing support/humanitarian aid, or fighting the enemy in war. And, I grieve for family members who lost loved ones. I don’t think of Memorial Day as a day off, the start of summer, or an excuse for a large picnic. It’s a day to reflect upon and honor our men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and peace.
If you’d like to better understand what it’s like to lose a hero, from the perspective of a mom, read this blog written by a new acquaintance of mine, Scoti Domeij. She’ll challenge you and I’m confident you’ll think differently about how much gratitude we should have for those who serve and the family who loses them.
I needed to read her blog. Perhaps it will be important for you, too,
Pass developmentally-appropriate truths on to your kids. The earlier they understand, the better. – Dr. Kathy
Dreading Memorial Day – Originally published on The Havok Journal
May 9, 2015 by Scoti Domeij
My son’s body came home on Memorial Day in 2007, I hate Memorial Day, and I have to admit, it drives me nuts when people see it as the start of summer instead of what it is: a day to honor our fallen. My husband and I go to the local military cemetery and an honoring for all, then I go home and cry.” — Candie Glisson, Gold Star Mother of Sgt. Jason Schumann, KIA, May 19, 2007 in Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq
Rewinding the Memories
Before my son, Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer Domeij was killed on his 14th deployment in Afghanistan, I never ‘dreaded’ Memorial Day. As a child and teenage Hoosier, I looked forward to the Indianapolis 500, the church picnic and the hilarity of the greased watermelon race. As a twenty-something wife, I worried about my Memorial Day bikini body exposed for all to critique at the beach with other California friends. As a thirty-something overwhelmed single mother, I looked forward to a free day home alone with my sons. Sleep in. No rushing. No demands. Let the little warriors play and squabble. Play referee or time-out captain. I never celebrated the ‘holiday’ with a barbecue, because firing up the BBQ seemed like just one more burden on my endless list of chores.
My only stress on Memorial Day? Knowing this brief breath of freedom ended tomorrow at sunrise — with a reality slap in the face by summer’s grind — juggling several jobs and securing summer childcare.