It should go without saying
But people do it, and I know it comes from a good place. Or maybe they just don’t know the difference between Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Armed Forces Day. But it kills me, it kills me every time. Let me back up.
But it kills me, it kills me every time. Let me back up. I met my husband when I worked as a correction nurse– he was a correction officer. Part of our job as medical staff is not only to provide health care to inmates but also to patch up the officers that get injured. I worried about him then, even before we were dating. I worried about everyone in my work family. Then when we started dating I worried more. He started working as a police officer and I worried. I worried he wouldn’t come home, that we wouldn’t grow get to old together.
Then he joined the military
I worry all the time. I worry when he’s away, that he won’t come home. That he will never be able to kiss me or our babies again. That he won’t come home and be able to lay down next to me at the end of the day. That he won’t be able to watch our kids grow up or read them bedtime stories.
I worry that my son will ask where his dad is and I won’t be able to tell him that “it’s okay, daddy will be home soon”. I worry that my daughter won’t have her dad to walk her down the aisle when she gets married. That he won’t be able to see and hold his grandbabies.
The difference between Memorial Day
Memorial Day is for the fallen. It is the day that we remember them, we honor them, and we think about their families. Memorial Day is not for current services members. I don’t want to ever have to think of my husband on Memorial Day, because that would mean that all my worst fears have come true. Memorial Day is for the service men and women that won’t be home. That won’t get to see their children grow up, or read them bedtime stories.
It’s for the women that won’t hold their grand babies. It’s for the men that won’t get to walk their daughter down the aisle. It’s for the kids asking where their parent is, it’s for the parents raising their kids on their own and not just for the length of the deployment. It’s for the ones that won’t get to lay next to their partners at night. They will never be able to kiss the love of their life again and they had no idea their last one would really be the last one. And they would give anything for just. one. more.
It’s not a day for discounts or shopping
It’s not a day to hit the sales rack, or wish anyone a “happy” Memorial Day. It’s a day to visit a war memorial, or take time with your family. It’s a day to teach your children that freedom isn’t free. So please. Please don’t thank my husband, it’s not his day and he doesn’t want it to be. Because when you thank him, it hits him hard that one day it could be him.