Over the years, we have taken our boys to cemeteries on US Military Posts, Arlington National Cemetery, Normandy, France, sadly the list goes on and on. Today, we traveled to Maple Valley, Washington to visit, Tahoma National Cemetery.
Today, it was the two of us. He was spit shined and polished. He hair was freshly cut and his medals smartly polished and perfectly in line. His uniform pressed and “magically” somehow the material makes those US Army soldiers stand a little taller, their posture a bit more straight.
I wore a plaid skirt, black textured jacket and sandals. I have gotten used to wearing sandals. As I follow along, behind my husband, the grass is usually dew covered and I can much easier wipe damp feet then repair ruined high heels. I wore a sparkly pin. The American Flag. I love the way the sunshine dances along the red, white and blue crystals.
This was the first time ever, that two different people asked if they could take my husband’s picture. It felt strange. I had a lump in my throat. One was a professional photographer, he offered me his card. I shook his hand and respectfully declined his card. What an odd thing to be asked? I am still thinking it over.
As we continued on to pay our sincere respect to a recently departed, father of a friend, we walked along the Columbiam rows, the closeness of the next row made the scent of the thousands of flowers, sweet and over whelming. The combination of lilies, roses and carnations blended together, created an aroma that made my head swoon with the scent and brought to mind the memory of sitting in the front row of my own father’s funeral. Amazing, how sweet smells can transport us back to a particular place and time.
My husband was there because it is the right thing to do. He was keeping his end of the agreement. The moment he entered the United States Army, the very moment he raised his hand…..in that split second, he pledged among other things, to have his buddy’s back. He promised that he would always remember. He would lift their names up.
He made a promise. He has led our family in action and deed in keeping and honoring that promise. Our family will stop for a moment in time, at least once a year. We will calm our souls, raise our prayers in Grace and Gratefulness.
We will remember. Always.