memorial day

I married a Marine.

I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. The only experience I had had with military men prior to my husband were my grandfathers. My dad’s dad was in the Army as a young man, but was not a lifer. My mom’s dad was a career Navyman. When he retired after twenty years, he continued to work with them in the civilian sector. Neither one of them would have ever been described as soft. Though they had their moments, of course. But they were not Marines.

Marines are a different make and model. As they will tell you, not everyone is cut out to be one. My husband was a lifer. Had he not been injured, I’m sure he would have stayed in until they kicked him out and then, as my Grandpa did, would have found a way to work with or for them until he couldn’t anymore. He’s stubborn that way.

I was raised by card carrying members of the hippie tribe. They are anti war and free love and tree huggers–though they are not so much war protest as peace rally. This upbringing of mine in no way prepared me for a life with a military man. Nor, at times, does my husband know what to do with me. Had I known what being married to a Marine meant before I did it, I might not have done it. It would have seemed overwhelming.

But I am glad I did not know. Because not only have we been in loving friendship for ten years with a beautiful son as well. Not only have I had the privilege of learning about life from this other perspective. But had I not married this man, this warrior, I would not have known of one of my purposes on this earth. Part of my job here is to show my Marine that the way is not always hard. That love and kindness are valid and necessary emotions. Soldiers, I think, have trouble with these emotions because they are not helpful emotions to have in wartime. The military does its very best to create soldiers who have the best chance possible of surviving and coming home. That means fast, strong, smart, brave, aggressive traits are cultivated. Anything else is not.

I long for the day when we have no need for a military. When we as a planet are able to use our words to problem solve and not our fists. But until that time has come…

Somewhere on a wall, there is a Marine

Standing up for my freedom to protest against him.

Somewhere on a gravestone, there is a name

A memory of someone’s loved one who did not come home.

Someone who stood up to protect the ideals that we forget we have because we don’t know what it’s like not to have them.

Someone who fell on a battlefield, fighting to survive and come home safe.

Someone who deserves recognition for having done the best job he could at one of the worst jobs we could ask him to do.

I do not believe in war.

I have never met a soldier who had truly been to war who didn’t long for peace.

Who knew full well the cost of war and was willing to pay it, but shouldn’t have to.

I support our troops.

I support our troops by trying to ensure that their lives are not wasted on petty politics. I support our troops by trying to ensure that if we are going to ask of them the ultimate sacrifice, that they, and their families, are paid a decent wage. It is the very least that we can do. I support our troops by trying to ensure that when they come home as veterans they are given the respect they deserve and the care they need.

As my husband likes to say, “Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to do and die.”

And he is correct. It is not the job of a member of the military to reason why. Don’t join the military if you want to reason why. Because that is our job. As civilians, as citizens of this nation, it is our duty and responsibility to reason why. To exercise the freedoms that have been so dearly bought. To hold our politicians and admirals accountable for their actions.

Honor Our Fallen Heroes

Thank Our Military for Their Service

Honor Our Veterans

Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home

Today I am grateful for….. Freedom…..ServiceMen and Women…..Veterans……Those Who Have Gone Before……and…. My Marine

Sleep Walk

I don’t sleep as well as I used to.

When I was younger, before I was charged with the care of anyone, I slept very well. As my family can attest, I could sleep through almost anything.

When I was 13, I went on a trip to Africa. One of the places we stayed was in Kenya, at a place called Treetops. It’s this very nice hotel built in and around this huge tree overlooking a watering hole. The idea being that you get a nice comfortable place to hang out until the animals come to drink, without you disturbing anything and making them not want to come. I cannot attest to the accuracy of this, but, I’m told that in the night, if any animals are seen, they come wake you up to go see them. I, of course, did not here any such thing, being such a sound sleeper. But, my traveling partner said she did and that I would not wake up to go see the elephants or rhinos or whatever it was that was drinking in the dark that night.

Another time the Olympic Torch was going to be exchanged at the top of our driveway. I know, crazy, right? I’m not sure why. But, I have to assume it was a place to pull off the road close to the allotted distance for the runners. Unfortunately, it was very early in the morning. Have I mentioned before that I hate mornings? It was at 5 or 6, which doesn’t seem so bad now. But, as a kid in the summer, I was regularly sleeping until 10 or 11:00. Five almost seemed like the night before. So, I almost didn’t get to see this amazing thing because they almost couldn’t get me up. Of course, what I remember is that the torch was heavy and it was early. Although, there are some pictures somewhere to prove that it did happen.

The only exceptions to that that I can remember were once or twice in my late teens/early twenties when I was watching someone’s baby. If I’m asleep and it’s my job to wake up to take care of someone, I will. At least, that’s been the case so far.

Now that I’m grown, and charged with the care of my own family, I wake at small noises that might be someone having a bad dream or falling. My husband uses a wheelchair, but he used to fall for no reason except something twitching or moving in his back. He also would sleep-walk. So, I became attuned to listen for him. I think any mom can tell you that they are more likely to wake since having children. Add, those things together with normal aches and pains and it means not as much sleep as when I was a carefree youth.

But, today I woke up three or four times in the night and kept thinking I should write about not being able to sleep. So, here we are, talking about my sleep habits.