Back from the land of red dirt. It was a nice and relaxing trip while at the same time being one of the hardest things I have had to do recently. I have come to believe that no matter how long it is, I am still going to sob uncontrollably at times when I think of my father. I guess I am okay with that. I have a wicked sunburn and came home to the nights still in the 40's and the days not much warmer. WTH is up with that... it will be June by Saturday.
We did some fun stuff and some traditional Memorial day stuff. We were fortunate that it only rained at night. We were south of the tornadoes and the major hail storms. Though we did visit one of the towns on Saturday before the storms hit there. Fun things... we went to a Minor League Baseball game, Frank Lloyd Wright's only Skyscraper, An American West museum/art gallery, Saw Harold and Kumar 2, found the Chocolatier store that I wanted to check out, scoped out neighborhoods that we would consider moving too, and went to the Air and Space museum on our way to the airport. Not necessarily in that order.
Traditional Memorial Day stuff was going to a church service at a church that I wish we could find a duplicate of at home, attending part of the POW/Unknown soldier ceremony at the National Cemetery, and attending the full Memorial day service at the National Cemetery. I finally was able to say... ok let's leave. I had a real hard time doing that-- if I hadn't at the time that I did probably would have stayed until dark. It was a very hard day for me and in the end I don't really feel any better. I thought I would obtain some closure over seeing my father's headstone but unfortunately that does not seem to be the case. I have made a lot of progress over the past few years... my grief is no longer the forefront of my life but there are many days that I find myself in tears over something silly. I can only pray that now I will be able to find the strength to tackle the junk room and go through the boxes that we shipped home of his stuff. Most of it is probably garbage at this point but his honor flag is in a box in there somewhere and I really should get it out.
My father was not proud of his military service. He was not proud of the Army during the war he served in or when he returned. He pretended to be when I was a kid. He even got dressed in his uniform and presented slides of his travels to my fourth grade class but not long after that he was gone... emotionally and physically. He came back from Vietnam as an unknown broken man. Everyone, including himself, thought that he was fine. But he wasn't. He became mentally ill. By the time that he was my age he had had a stroke and had been in the psych ward for a mental break. I didn't know about the stroke until I was much older... I was just told he had a really bad headache. He made it to 53... for some reason I always say 54 but that wasn't true. I only figured that out this weekend. I also realized that I am pretty much the only one who has no ties to the military whatsoever either through my own service or my spouses. All my other cousins that are old enough have either served, are serving, or their spouses served. But me... not so much. I never even thought it an option and I am not sure why. My mom's brother was a lifer in the Airforce. All of my uncles served, my father served, and my grandfather served. None of my father's sisters were in the military though... but yet, I have a cousin who is older than me that has been in the reserves since she was 18. She may have even served in regular army but I have never even met her or knew about her until my father died. Strange... I know.
Anyhow.. I am rambling and know that I had a point but it has since escaped my brain. Thank you to those that have served and to those that are family of the military. We appreciate all that you do.