I woke up this morning next to the man I love and to the pokes and wiggles of our son in my belly. Our small home is quiet and serene as a light drizzle tips out of the gray skies and I pad my way into the kitchen for morning coffee and pancakes. It’s a normal and uninteresting morning in my world.
But today I stare out the window and consider what it’s like for people who wake up today and wish to God their lives had nothing to do with Memorial Day. That they could just wake up and make pancakes and continue on as normal. But chances are, before this date showed up on their calendar — a missed anniversary did, a child’s birthday party without their dad has come and gone. Days of celebration have become clouded with a throbbing, tangible absence.
He’s not coming home. She never made it back.
War is war, friends. You can like it or lump it. But regardless of how you feel about war, I encourage you to take a moment and consider that you woke up today. Maybe your life isn’t a cheery bed of roses and you’re going through something hard — I pray you have friends and family who are surrounding you to help you through it. While we all have heavy burdens to carry, let’s spend a moment remembering those who carry the burden of a flag-draped coffin that has left them a single mom who has to give a thousand painful explanations to the never-ending questions from her confused toddler, or a grieving dad who finds it hard to leave the house for another Memorial Day cookout, or a sister who will never feel the affectionate embrace of her big brother.
Consider the cost of freedom. Whether you like how it was achieved or not, consider it. Consider the gaps it has left in families and acknowledge that while today may be filled with fun beach trips and beer coolers or lazy lake days — there is another side to living in a free country, and it’s found in neatly lined headstones and the quiet grief that pulses through thousands and thousands of American homes.
Land of the free because of the brave.