Sunday morning - I awoke very early - even earlier than I had planned. The sun was actually shining - for this I was ( and am) thankful. I headed outside with my scissors to clip flowers to place on Al's headstone - the moisture of the night's rain still clinging to the petals and leaves while the sun created small rainbows in the tiny crevices of the blossoms. Bright pink and creamy white peonies, purple larkspur and iris became a hand tied bouquet - for these I am also thankful - I am grateful to the previous owners of our home who planned the gardens to have something blooming year round which I can share at Al's resting place.
Willamette National Cemetery is quietly majestic - but this morning even more so - the roads are lined with billowing flags and each head stone and memorial wall is also graced with our country's stars and stripes. The morning is quiet - it is early - there are a few others who have also come to reflect and remember - but I am thankful for the solitude. This morning - looking across the rolling hills with thousands of flags I am humbled by the numbers who have gone before us - willing to take the charge of protecting our freedom at all cost. Reflecting on our history as a nation - built on the courage of ordinary citizens. We are truly one of a kind. My heart wonders if we as a nation now really take time to ponder what others have done in our behalf. I pray that today we do - that we will stop and pray for those who are serving and those who have served - prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude for allowing us to be a nation of freedom for all.
Today, while I place flowers on my husband's grave, I tell him again how proud I am of his service to his country - for his unwavering belief that God called him to serve our military by caring for the wounded and broken. I thank him again for never complaining when he was called again to Iraq when he had only been home for a little over a year. I thank God for the skills He gave him to bring healing and hope to both our military and the civilians he treated who had been ravaged by the war.
This morning the sun is bright and the mountains in the distance shout God's majesty - I am thankful for this place of honor for my husband and all the others who have been laid to rest here. Words cannot express how much I miss him yet today I want to feel thankful for all he gave to our country and I do. I want to honor him for his bravery and courage and unwavering willingness to serve. He is my hero. I love you, Sunshine.