“As I was just leaving the hair salon, the receptionist wished me a happy Memorial Day. I kind of smiled and nodded, but cringed too. My husband died in a helicopter crash eight and a half months into a deployment.
“Every day for us is Memorial Day. I’ve always been puzzled by Memorial Day. It’s such an odd day to celebrate. We don’t have 9/11 sales. You don’t get a 3 day weekend for Pearl Harbor. The first one was definitely the hardest. The red, white, and blue balloons in the grocery store. The celebrations and parties, for something that is actually pretty somber. We didn’t get his body back, just boxes of his stuff.
“I have my own ritual now, where I’ll watch the video from his memorial service. I remember parts of it so well. I remember the woman in uniform who handed our 6 year old son a folded flag. He asked me if he could unfold it, and I remember leaning down to quietly tell him he could not. And I remember seeing the woman who presented the flag crying. And then she had to give a flag to my 3 month old. My friend was holding him. He never met his dad, and he’s got a fist in his mouth, and here she has to give him this folded triangle. And I just remember her crying.
“I can’t say it gets easier. It doesn’t. I think you just get better at handling it. I’m not sure true happiness is possible again. Every moment that should be celebrated, from the baby’s first steps to someday, the kids’ college graduations and weddings, is almost immediately overshadowed by how much I wish my husband were here to share that with us. But it does give you an unbelievable appreciation for life, and I’ve definitely learned not to sweat the small stuff. I don’t fault anyone for celebrating Memorial Day. I’ll enjoy the three day weekend. It is the one day when everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon. But it would be so nice if people would reach out to us the rest of the year, too, and remember what the day is really about.”
This Memorial Day, Humans on the Homefront is proud to sponsor a Go Fund Me page for this family. Honor their fallen hero by donating directly to the beautiful family he left behind: www.gofundme.com/memorialdayhumans.