Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day Musing

Although the election is over, and I said good-bye to everyone last week, I received an email asking me to come in and volunteer this morning. The headquarters was going to remain open until at least November 14th, and volunteers were needed to come and help answer phones. Of course, I agreed to do this for one more day, changing my plans a bit to make it work.

But then they closed the office (in fact the entire building) because it is Veteran's Day. So here I am, spending unexpected free time checking email and posting something on the blog. I won't have to take time out from my busy day at work; instead, I can just get this done right here, right now.

Veteran's Day is hard for me because I don't know how to celebrate it. I understand that honoring our Vets is important, but because Amy is in the military, I'm not sure how to do it best. In the past I would focus on remembering the soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty. I don't want to think about that today. It's all too close to home now and I don't like to read, watch, or even think about, the wars that are going on.

Yesterday I printed out some pictures of Amy that were posted by a friend on her facebook account. I was gratified to see that she looks healthy and happy. Her bright and beautiful smile lights up the pages that I flip through on the screen. I print them out, in full color, on my boss' printer since his has the best quality, making several copies for other family members. He is out of town now, but I don't think he'd really mind anyway. The boss is good about family relationships and situations and he's probably want to see the pictures himself.

Showing them to co-workers, they all oohed and ahhed at her beauty. Yes, she really does look good. And so, today at least, I can worry a little bit less. Her pictures are proof; she really exists and she really is okay. In spite of being so dis-engaged with us. I sigh.

And so, Veterans Day...how does a mother of a Marine celebrate? I suppose I'll just do a few chores around the house and then make my way to work. Although I work in a school, this is not a holiday for us. And it is my late day at that. I'll think of Amy periodically throughout, along with my secretarys' son and others who put themselves in harm's way, all on our behalf. I will remember, but I cannot afford to dwell upon the losses. Seeing my daughter's happiness, I hope to hold on to some of my own. It promises to be a good day.


Tao Master said...

Veteran's Day seems to be the forgotten holiday, standing along with Columbus day. In Viet Nam war times, I know soldiers enjoyed packages from home with cookies and photos.Now days it is better with the internet and blogs like facebook and youtube, and flicker. I am not sure what kind of packages soldiers can get - I know you can't send liquids, I am not sure about perishables. I think that it would be nice if Veteran's got something from us today, say a free dinner or a box of chocolates or a 50 dollar gift certificate from the government, but I guess that is being silly. Hope to see you tonight and celebrate.

Lin said...

I always think of Veteran's Day as celebrating those who serve/served for our country. I love to hunker down and watch old war movies on this day, as the cable channels are loaded with them.

Why not post one of your daughter's photos to celebrate her? I would love to see her today. I'll bet you are so very proud of her! We are!

butterfly woman said...

Glad you got some time to write this post today. Heartfelt and honest. My eyes and heart continue to be opened by the impact of life in the military, from your point of view. I am so grateful you share here, for it gives me a much greater appreciation of the emotional impact that resonates in these unsettling times. I hope the photos bring you some relief and comfort and am glad you are in supportive work environment. It will be nice to connect with you tonight again!