MY REFLECTIONS ON MEMORIAL DAY

MEMORIAL DAY IS FOR HONORING EVERYONE WE HAVE LOST

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Memorial Day is almost over.  It has been a long weekend of no work (at least with my “day” jobs), no school for either myself or my child, and a visit to a petting zoo-a nice one (they do exist) -which included getting to pet a chicken and watching my daughter hold a kitten like a baby.  It meant my daughter having a sleep over with one of her bffs, and as it winds down it means listening to the thunderstorm outside.

As this Memorial Day ends, I reflect on my family.  My paternal grandfather, who served in World War II and then as a police officer, only to die young and leave a grieving widow and five young children behind.  My dad, who at 15 suddenly became a father figure to his siblings.  He was supposed to serve in Vietnam, but severe injuries in a motorcycle accident and the fact that my grandmother needed him made that impossible.  I didn’t speak to him for over 20 years, and it wasn’t long after we started communicating again that he died from complications of a stroke from advanced heart disease, a silent killer than no one even suspected.  How I wish I had spent more time with him, for I didn’t expect him to die at only 62.

I reflect on my step paternal grandfather.  Still going strong at 90.  A WWII veteran who still walks everyday and drives.  He is an inspiration to me everyday to enjoy life and to learn new things and take care of myself.  I also remember my uncle-my mother’s big brother-who died from cancer caused by being exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam; his only daughter was born with severe birth defects from it and died soon after.  I bet he would be proud to see that two of his sons and his grandson have proudly served their country.

I remember Shelli, Mike,Todd, Dusty, Brad, Dave, Spencer, and my other classmates and friends who are gone much too soon.  Memorial Day is a day for honoring and remembering everyone we have lost.  Shelli, I miss you most of all.  Every second of my life.

As this Memorial Day ends I salute all who served, honor all who sacrificed, and remember everyone I have loved and lost.

Author: Stacie M Stark

Activist with 25 years of experience in human and animal rights and welfare. Specializing in children's rights and issues, LGBT rights, and companion animal welfare and rights. Member and always will be of Amnesty International, Best Friends Animal Society, and PETA. Mom, queer, vegetarian. Hello Kitty and Disney Princess collector. Cat lover. Sagwa fan. I want to live at the public library.

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