Monday, November 11, 2013

The Veteran I Will Never Forget

Some people have expressed their displeasure that I chose to post a Happy Birthday to my husband and not a Facebook post thanking the Veterans. Well, I have my reasons. 1. I actually DO things to thank veterans, not just post on Facebook, and I choose not to post those on Facebook. 2. My husband is a very kind, selfless man who deserves to have a day that is all his own for his family to celebrate.

However, I still had planned on posting a little something about the veterans, but I never got the chance before things were said since I had to help get my husband ready for work and take care of my child. I have a bit of time, so now I can do that.

I feel the best way I could publicly thank the veterans is by sharing a story of one in particular I had the great privilege of spending some time with. I don't remember how old I was, what grade I was in, or his name, but it was one of the MANY times I went and sang at the Veterans Hospital in my hometown. I had talked to many men and women who believed I was their daughter, or sister and I took on that role to give them a little bit of happiness in that moment. It killed me to leave not knowing if the real daughter or sister would come and visit. But one man in particular really captured my attention. I usually was able to go around and talk to many of the men and women in there, but this man and I spent the whole time talking to each other. He held my hand with tears in his eyes for a long time, not saying anything, just looking at me. When he did speak he told me I had a good heart and asked me to keep using it for good and to bring joy to others with my gift. He had asked me how long I had been singing, why I loved it, things like that. After just chatting about life and him asking me about my goals in life, etc. my choir teacher told us it was time to get going. I gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek and I told him that I would see him again soon, as we were going to sing there again in about a month. He held my hand again and he said that he knew he wasn't going to make it until then. I gave him another hug and told him I would look for him anyways and then thanked him for our chat and his sacrifice. This amazing man told me that he would do it all over again if it meant I would be able to achieve all of the things I wanted to. He asked me to promise him that I would try my hardest to achieve everything I wanted to do with my life and told me that would be the biggest thing I could do to thank him, and the other veterans, I had no problem promising him that. The next time I came I did look for him, he had passed on.... It was hard to sing that day...

Since then I've stumbled and made mistakes, but I've kept that sweet man and my promise to him in my heart. The biggest of those goals I had I've already started to accomplish, marrying a good man and raising a family with him. The rest, I continue to work on every day and I learn new things I want to accomplish every day. I didn't realize when I made that promise that it wouldn't just end once I had accomplished the things I told him I wanted to, but it would continue for the rest of my time on this earth because there would always be new goals to make and keep.

That is how I choose celebrate and appreciate what our servicemen do for us everyday, by keeping a promise I made to an old veteran in the last days of his life. I hope that he looks down on me and is proud of the woman I've become and sees that I'm trying my hardest everyday to keep my promise to him.