Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Memories of Past Loved Ones



With the death of my Grandmother I have found myself reflecting on lost loved ones.


Many thoughts and memories of my grandfather have been flooding my mind. I know my grandmother and grandfather are together again. They were married 67 years when he passed away at the age of 92, that was 8 years ago. So I know he is very happy to be with my grandmother again. I also think of my grandmother that had begun with dementia and how wonderful it must be for her to have a clear mind again. The last visit to my grandmother's home she said to me with a warm smile, I do not know who you are but I know you are my family because you make me feel warm inside. That made me both happy and sad. The Friday before she died she was talking non stop which was funny because she was a woman of few words, she was a wonderful listener. Well, she kept telling me on Friday how pretty I was, I had to smile because I was hoping that even though she did not know who I was, she knew I was her family and that is why she kept saying I was pretty. I was hoping she was feeling that same warmth that she felt on our last visit. Now I smile as I think of them together again.



My most favorite cousin Mark who was killed in a car accident when he was 16. He was the greatest and I adored him so much. I was very young when he was killed but quite smitten with him and remember him well. On my dad's side of the family there are 48 cousins, 41 boys and 7 girls. Ughhh and I am second to the youngest, can you feel my pain??? Well Mark would take me everywhere with him (which was quite the change from being pushed aside and ignored by all the other cousins) and I thought he was the cat's meow. My dad is the youngest of 12, 10 boys and 2 girls. Both of his sisters had 4 boys each and both of their youngest sons were killed at the age of 16. Mark was killed in a car accident and the other drowned while fishing.

My MOST favorite Aunt (yes I know it seems to be a trend that my favorites pass) Sue passed away in 1976, she had a brain tumor. Oh how I loved this lady. She was married to my Uncle Jimmy (my Dad's brother) and they had two sons. I did not know she was sick when I was little. My uncle and aunt would travel extensively, little did I know back then that he knew she was dying and trying to fit everything into her short life. She was so beautiful, she had the kindest smile and the most beautiful eyes. What I remember about her most is that she loved to brush my hair, of course she had two boys so she thought it was fun to play with my hair. Well I had hair down to my waist and when I saw my mom with a brush I would begin to cry. My aunt would brush my hair for hours, it felt like she was brushing one strand at a time. We would talk, laugh and I remember I loved the sound of her voice as she brushed my hair. Well I was most horrified one time when I opened her bedroom door without knocking to find her standing there almost completely bald. I screamed and cried running from the room. That is when I was informed she had cancer and hair was falling out from the treatment. She had been wearing wigs. She was so young and so vibrant. Well she succumbed to the cancer right before the Bicentennial celebration. Her funeral was the weekend of 7-4-1976. My Uncle was very high up in the military and my Aunt was buried at Arlington National Cemetary which houses the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Well if you can imagine what the military cemetary looked like the weekend of the bicentennial. Even though I was only 8 years old I remember it so vividly, it was breath taking a river of red, white and blue... They did the 21 gun salute, my heart jumped with each shot fired and they played taps. It is an experience that has stayed with me through the years. We also saw the tomb of the unknown soldier; I felt as if I could stand there watching the soldier march forever. I remember not wanting to leave. I wanted to stay with my Aunt Sue and I wanted to continue watching the tribute to all fallen soldiers.


I am not sure if you know the information about the Unknown Soldier, but it is amazing so I am posting it here for anyone who is interested.




Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why? 21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why? 21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1
3. Why are his gloves wet? His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and if not, why not? He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an About Face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
5. How often are the guards changed? Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to? For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30." Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin. The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror. The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis (the boxer) and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy (the most decorated soldier of WWII) of Hollywood fame. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.
ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930. We can be very proud of our young men and women in the service no matter where they serve. God Bless and keep them.

The tomb says:
HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER UNKNOWN BUT TO GOD




9 Comments:

At 11/08/2005, Blogger The Seeker said...

Having lived next to Arlington cemetery I've run & walked through it many times. It's a place that fills me with awe. Watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb is one the images I'll never forget in my life.

 
At 11/08/2005, Blogger cherish said...

Seeker:
Thank you very much for visiting my blog. Your blog is amazing!! I can not wait to tell Lori about it, hehe. Most of my erotic writing is D/s (Dominant/submissive) Stuff.
Arlington National Cemetary is one of those places that is so hard to explain to others. But if they have the opportunity to visit, it stays with them forever. My daughter went on a field trip to the cemetary and she was flabbergasted by it. She was also proud to tell her classmates that her mom's Aunt Sue was buried there. My son (who is a bit younger) has not had the opportunity to take the field trip yet. I look forward to his reaction.

Thank you again for visiting and commenting.

 
At 11/08/2005, Blogger Kid Ric said...

You are so kind, caring and sweet. It is a pure pleasure to meet you.

Thank you for all of your special comments on my blog.

I have been to Arlington quite a few times. It is sort of overwhelming to say the least. I am ex-military myself.

Your writing reminded me of all my loved ones who have passed. I once felt really sorry for myself for all of my losses. Then out of nowhere, like the hand of God smacked me upside the head, I realalized I had nothing to feel sorry about and that I should feel happy that my loved ones had moved on to a higher place. Sure I miss them and wish that they were still here. But, as I said, they are always with us in our hearts. I came to learn that I am never to feel sorry for me again!

Peace, love and light to you and yours.

 
At 11/08/2005, Blogger cherish said...

Ric:
Thanks so much for the kind words. I am really trying to learn that lesson. My mind says my grandmother is a better place and I am happy she is at peace. But my heart misses her so much.

Thank you for visiting! I really enjoy your blog, smiles...

 
At 11/08/2005, Blogger Fred said...

Sentiment, facts, heart, and rememberances. Very nice post, thanks.

 
At 11/08/2005, Blogger cherish said...

Thank you Fred, smiles!!! You are very sweet and I appreciate you visiting and commenting on my blog.

 
At 11/08/2005, Blogger Kid Ric said...

You will be with her and all of your passed loved ones again I know for sure.

I have died once and tumbled down the corridor and to the white light. I arrived with all of my passed loved ones beckoning me to enter. When the time is ours we will be reunited and time and space will no longer exist. Then we will be at peace and contented. Our loved ones will be there as so will we.

To live with their memory is all we have for now. This earth is not designed to tell us how to deal with the death of a dear loved one. It is painful, sad and not fair so it seems. It is our responsibility to be healed and move on ahead. For in our memory they will live forever and when we pass we will see them again. See them in all their magnificent glory and love and we shall be fulfilled and be with them all once again. Until that day we need to be happy that God has chosen them to be with him. To be chosen by the Lord to join him in heaven is actually an honor and a priviledge. Really, really big hugs for you today.

Peace, love and light to you and your family.

 
At 11/09/2005, Blogger Red Hot Sexy Papa said...

i love this post! Sweet and honourable :)

 
At 11/09/2005, Blogger cherish said...

Ric: Thank you very much for your encouraging words. They truly bring me peace and I appreciate your time.

RHSP: Thank you for visiting again.

 

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