The Children – A Tribute
There is much to be thankful for today. I have a beautiful daughter, grown, graduated from college Cum Laud, who is now a recruit at the local Police Academy. I have a wonderful son, who works every day at a Department store as a low level manager and is in college. Both are healthy. Both are each others best friend. Both have their own friends separately and common friends. My Mom is doing really good as her doctor just told her at her recent check-up after her second by-pass surgery. My brothers and sisters and their kids are all healthy and doing well. All grandchildren are healthy and OK too! We all have everything we need and a great deal of what we want!
Of course, we all still miss Michael, my nephew, very much. Even though he died in Kuwait, March 5, 2004, he is still very much on all our minds. It is especially hard on his kids, at least, those who can still remember him. The youngest two were too young when he died to remember him! The second oldest was at a point in age where she may remember some things; but, most things have faded away with time. Of course, the oldest remembers Mike very well. It is hardest for her in her own way.
As I look at all we have to be grateful for, and think about the loss of Mike, I feel for all the other families who have also lost loved ones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or while serving in support of those wars. How many of those gone were the only child of those parents back home as was the case with my sister? How many of those lost left behind children, some of whom will never remember how great their Mom or Dad really was? How many never met their hero parent? How many remember their lost parent and are troubled by fear and guilt because they cannot remember their Mom or Dad’s face? can’t hear the sound of their voice in their mind? can’t cry any more at their loss?
I feel for the Moms, the Dads, the husbands, the wives, the grandparents. But, most of all, I feel for the children left behind. Children are often thought of as being resilient. We tell ourselves they will adjust. As time passes, we see more and more of what we call, their “old selves” present. That convinces us that they are OK! We accept that they are OK. Mostly, I think we accept these signs of their “OKness” because we want so bad for them to be happy! because we don’t know how to help them! because we love them!
We do everything we can to help these kids because we do love them. We try to reassure them. We try to let them know that it is OK if it is sometimes hard to remember the face of their lost Mom or Dad. can’t hear their voice in their head. can’t cry any more. Then we show them a picture, tell them stories, give them souvenirs, anything we think will reassure them. Sometimes we even provide them grief therapy or therapy. We do all we know how to do. But, bottom line, we cannot take away their loss, their pain, their grief.
We can only be there for them. We can only love them. We can only reassure them. But, nothing or no one can replace the hole in their hearts, can fill the void left behind, can take way their pain. The only thing we know for certain is that time will help them heal and adjust to their loss as much as possible, at least for most. There will be some who never seem to move forward with their lives.
So, though I know this post will be a downer to many, I feel I must write it so and as a dedication to those we have lost, to their families, our injured, and most of all to their children. Remember the children. Say a special prayer for them. Take time to offer a few moments of your time. Let them know by your display of love and attention that we cherish them. That we love them. That we understand as best we can. Most importantly just let them know we care and are there for them!
Happy Thanksgiving to all, especially our troops and their families. We have not forgotten you either. We will never be able to repay our debt to you [our troops and their families]or those departed and their families. The best way I can thinkl of to honor you all is to vote. Be vigilent and care for our Democracy here on the home front. Be the very best citizen we know how to be. Don’t throw away by complacency all you have sacrificed so much to protect. Thank you all1 God Bless you all!