This is my story of how I have done at letting go of some things. I started this blog when my son was in High School , during a deployment and facing big life changes. I have come out the other side of those changes. Emptynest, long since empty. Our son is now a Lt in the USMC and now we are facing exiting the Marine Corps possibly in the next few years. One thing I have learned is life is constantly in flux, so this is my life...in flux.
THe Harting Family
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Memorial Day .....
This weekend was my sons birthday. I think he was born on this weekend as some kind of cosmic gift if you know what I mean. For so many years, and before OIF and OEF it was really rare to meet someone my age that had been affected by a war death. My father was killed in Vietnam when I was a infant. It was before the Internet and video cameras and all the great technology we have today and there is really nothing on film that I have possession of that would let me hear how he sounded, or walked or looked, besides some old photos. So back to my point, memorial day was always a glaring reminder of the fact that I never knew my dad, and that he had been killed in some jungle in Asia in a war that everyone hated. He was my hero, I never knew him and always loved him and still do. Memorial day when I was a kid was spent putting flags on the graves at the Beverly National Cemetery. It was a day that I felt meant something to me only. During the 80's I lived with my sister and her husband, also a Marine at Camp Lejeune when the Beirut Bombing happened. I met briefly one of the Marines that was killed there, he was a friend of my brother-in-laws but I was so young and didn't really understand what it all meant. Watching my sister go through so much but again not really "getting it". So many Marines killed that day and I was smack dab in the middle of it. I can explain it as a 9/11 moment on Camp Lejeune and the town. In the past 10 years the current wars have affected EVERYONE I know. I have 2 nephews, both in the military. There isn't anyone I know that hasn't known someone that knows someone that has fallen. I can't wrap my head around it sometime. I think back to the days that Memorial Day was one name, one person, my dad, my hero. But that isn't the case anymore. Now there are more names than I can even recount. What I want to do today is honor the Marines that fell from my husbands battalion on his last deployment. My husband went on the first initial push to Afghanistan sent by President Obama. It wasn't long before his Battalion started losing their own. It hasn't even been a year yet but I want to use this Memorial Day to say their names, please read them, let them roll off your tongue, tell others their names. Let us never forget all these men, woman. Those that paid the ultimate price and their families. All pictures are posted with permission. W.O. Richardson
I would like to mention 2 other friends we lost this past year. They were not war casualties but they were war vets and we owe them a great big thank you. Sgt. J. Hummel fought in Vietnam and served with my father and became family to us. His ashes now are a part of his beloved Marine Corps at Courthouse Bay where his wife and children and Marine brothers took him for his last ride in an Amtrak. Msgt. L. White, one of our best friends, served with my husband in Iraq and in garrison. Taken from this world suddenly and missed by his wife and 3 sons. We miss you friends... We miss you both and we know you are guarding the heavens...SemperFi Marines.
Happy Birthday son, thank you for giving me 18 Memorial Day reasons to smile...and for knowing this weekend is so much bigger than a BBQ and day at the beach. I love you.