May 24, 2008

MEMORIAL DAY

My father is the oldest of 13 children, so this weekend there are 42 of us together for my grandparents' 60th anniversary. And when you have that many family members, the gene pool is big enough that you can trace family resemblances across generations and branches of the family tree. Naturally one of the favorite games is to figure out who the young kids look the most like.

This evening all of us were in church together, lining the pews in family order. I was looking around at everyone, noticing how much my little 6 year old cousin looks like the old black and white photos of my father, noticing how much the back of my uncle's head looks like my little brother's, noticing which kid looks like his mom and which like his dad. And all of a sudden, my thoughts turned to the baby inside me.

Consciously or subconsciously, I have put the baby out of my mind. I convinced myself that there was nothing to be happy about and nothing to get my hopes up for. With all the excitement of 42 people in the house, I have not thought about the baby at all, not felt pregnant, not thought myself pregnant.

But in the quiet of church, as I looked at all these kids who look like their parents and aunts and uncles, I suddenly wanted a baby that looks like my husband. And like a flash, I remembered that a baby is inside of me now. And I wanted it to be alive so badly.

I started weeping silently in church.

Luckily my mother handed me a kleenex. And extra-luckily, the kleenex had a chewed up piece of gum in it. That made me giggle and helped me calm down.

And then the vocalist began a special song for Memorial Day.

I had never heard the song "More Than A Name On The Wall" before, and it hit me hard. Especially this part:

She said, "He really missed the family, being home on Christmas Day
And he died for God and country in a place so far away
I remember just a little boy, playing war since he was three
And Lord this time I know, he's not coming home to me."

My thoughts turned to Debey and her Gunnar, and I realized how stupidly selfish I was feeling. I was spending my Memorial Day service feeling sorry for myself. It was the reality check I needed. I stopped my silly crying and focused my thoughts to where they belong this weekend, to Gunnar and Sean and all the others like them who deserve to be memorialized.

I won't make the same mistake the rest of the weekend.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:51 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 Those 4 lines made me cry so hard it actually hurt a little to read the words. And don't think you aren't honoring them. A life is a life, and it sounds like you really appreciated the possibility of new life created by you and your husband. That's reasonable. Honor our fallen, honor those serving, honor those served. But also be excited for yourself, and don't deny your own natural feelings. I cried for you too, because the way you described your desire to be pregnant is so... raw and beautiful. It's wonderful and I am truely hopeful and happy for you.

Posted by: Sara at May 24, 2008 07:15 PM (lS9hT)

2 Cut yourself a little slack, love. You're in a really hard place. And you're a wonderful citizen, wife, and military spouse. We're all allowed a little bit of pain and frustration in our own situations all while being compassionate and serving. blessings and heart-felt thoughts all around, Lane

Posted by: Lane at May 24, 2008 07:58 PM (3eSJf)

3 you're ''thinking about me'', while I'm ''thinking about you''..... We love you, always... gunnar's mom & family

Posted by: debey at May 25, 2008 04:46 AM (dpQXH)

4 Sarah, you are still in my prayers. It is ok to have a thought for yourself, even on a weekend such as this. Warm thoughts and hugs coming your way!

Posted by: Vypergirl at May 25, 2008 03:28 PM (qe77L)

5 Hey- I just wanted to say I love your blog... I came across it while googling something else, yet I understand the humor and the sadness... I grok Schrodinger's Cat as well as Jonah Goldberg (and I even grok 'grok')(I love Heinlein). Also, I am praying for you and your husband. I am a mid-20's male with plenty of Corp. friends (even a few in the *shudder* Army). I know what its like to miss a friend... maybe not a husband, but my friends have wives/fiances that miss them as you do your man. My prayers are with him! Keep up the posting!

Posted by: Joe at May 26, 2008 05:09 PM (PqQwO)

6 I'm so glad you're back--I thought about you a BUNCH while you were away & missed you! Your stream of consciousness sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I'm glad you were able to be with your family over the weekend. Gum in Kleenex is the universal "Oh! I DO have a Kleenex in my purse!" moment.

Posted by: Guard Wife at May 27, 2008 08:15 AM (BslEQ)

7 My grandparents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, too. We're going to have a big reunion in August. Thanks for the touching post!

Posted by: Tootie at May 27, 2008 09:05 AM (FtZRk)

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