I was just over at a fellow Faith in Fiction Blogger's site http://kathleenpopa.typepad.com/my_weblog/ and was moved by her Memorial Day tribute post.
It made me think of my friend Heidi's boy, Joshua.
When I first met Josh he was five years old, running circles around his single, struggling, grad-student mama, in his dinosaur-decked pajamas.
Now, he's running a helicopter crew in Iraq, undoubtedly suited in a flak jacket and M-something or other.
My last encounter with Josh was this past winter when he was home before being shipped over. He wrapped me in a muscle tight Marine hug and I promised him I'd pray for him.
I rarely do. Not enough, anyway. Truth is, I forget. Like most of us who don't have a loved one "over there" I go about my daily life. Until I see a newscast or read a report of another bombing or escalation. Then, it's not soldier Josh I think of. It's jammie Josh. And my own little boy, who at this very moment is tucked safely in bed in his own dinosaur pj's.
I see Heidi nearly every other day. And, of course I ask about Josh. I know they stay in touch via email and a unit log.
But, being close to a deployed soldier is not the same as being the mother of one. The mere fact that I am often "reminded" of Josh relays that I often forget. That's not something Heidi, or any soldier's mother has the privilege to do.
This Memorial Day, and everyday we, I, need to remember that though all soldiers were once some mother's little girl or boy, they are now men and women -- giving up their freedom; sacrificing their lifestyle and possibly their life so that we can go on with ours.
Everyday should be Memorial Day, where would we be without those who have gone before, and for us?