Rule #38 – Seek Balance
Ok… who hit the fast forward button on the calendar?
Really, where did this last month go to, folks? I looked at the date of my last post, uttered a few expletives, and looked at what I’ve done in the past 31 or so days.
The hiatus started with our community garden club’s plant sale. The last few days preparing for that event always take a good chunk of the day and mental energy. The sale went really well and our club had enough profit to fund our scholarship. That was another event – presenting the award to this year’s winner. I got to attend an awards dinner with people I never met. Talk about being pushed from your comfort zone… But everyone there was very gracious and friendly. I ended up enjoying myself.
I got to sneak a trip to Myrtle Beach and Charleston in during the past month. My aunt and I drove south, visited with her cousin for a night, enjoyed the sand and surf, walked all over Charleston, toured a plantation, and… wow, I should sleep well after all that.
Then there was the Apollo Chamber Orchestra’s final concert of the season. Oh, and a few Orioles games to attend… and the yard work. It’s well past time to get the flower beds and veggie garden into shape. This is also about the time I find out how physically pfffft I really am. I did beg off the gym for the month, figuring that hauling mulch, mowing the lawn, and turning garden beds over was enough heavy lifting for one month.
Add to the mix a few funerals at church, my weekly singing rehearsal with the chorus, Bibles study, and reviewing five children’s books for Children’s Literature, I haven’t exactly been sitting on my tushie watching it expand horizontally (although the scale would disagree).
It sure seems like I’ve done a lot. But what I’ve done is a drop in the bucket compared to others. A pittance… small potatoes…
Today is June 6, the 70th anniversary of the landing of Allied forces on the beaches in Normandy, France. How many soldiers took part in that assault on the French coast? How many didn’t actually make it to the shore, because they were killed in the transport? How many men dropped from the sky that night? It became the turning point in World War II. Omaha Beach was a blood bath, so I’ve read.
Hub’s dad went ashore at Utah Beach. He was in the Army medical corp and almost never talked about his experiences in Europe. The only thing I remember him saying was how he and his buds mudded over the Red Cross on their helmets. That cross was an instant kill target for the enemy. Other than that, he said very little. Pop was wounded slightly in the Ardennes. The ambulance he was driving took a direct hit. He was the lone survivor and he never drove again.
Tom Brokaw calls this group of heroes the Greatest Generation. They knew duty, responsibility, and humility. They put their lives on the line for us. If you are reading this in English, these are the guys we have to thank for that privilege.
These heroes – especially the ones who did not make it home – gave up birthdays, holidays, and family events to do their duty. They sacrificed so much for our future. Today’s military men and women do the same thing. So do the families they leave back stateside.
Many a World War II vet will tell you that he or she isn’t the hero. They will tell you the real heroes didn’t make it home. There’s an entire field near Omaha Beach of Allied heroes and I hope some day soon to visit them to say “Thanks” in person.
Time does fly when you think that seventy years has already passed. To the vets who fought in France back then, seventy years seems like a blink of an eye – a tearful eye, too.
And I had the audacity to worry about one month…
To all our serving men and women – and those who have served, I say a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. This American appreciates what you have done. I’ll say it anyway you want – Merci`! Viel Danke! Spociba! Grazie! Gracias! Go raibh maith agat! Dziękuję! Arigato gozaimasu!
Feeling humble in their presence...