Saturday, May 28, 2016

Celebrations and Rememberings

     Summer has officially started in our house!  Middle Biscuit's birthday kicks off summer around here. He is double digits this birthday...the big 10!  He is growing into such a mix of tender and tough.  He is the one who will help his little sister when she only annoys the other brothers.  He is our creative little Lego architect and artist.  And yet, don't make the mistake of thinking you can push him around!  He has proven his toughness by standing up to those who try!  Happy birthday, Middle Biscuit!  You are a gift to our family who brings such joy and fun!  

     Middle Biscuit's birthday always falls close to the holiday weekend of Memorial Day.  Most people view this holiday as the beginning of summer.  A time to get together with family and friends and maybe hit the beach or have a barbecue.  But how many families are missing someone during these fun times?  

     Hubby and I have been watching the TV show "NCIS" on Netflix.  A fairly typical crime solving's distinguishing factor is that it deals with crimes in the Navy and Marines.  Pretty good show all around.  There was an episode that we just finished that dealt with an old veteran who (in the story) had been on Iwo Jima.  What stood out about the episode to me was the way the other characters in the show treated this old, confused Marine with the utmost level of respect.  They recognized the service he had done for his country, and treated him accordingly.  They treated him with respect because they knew his story.  

     I told Hubby when the show was over that I believed that one reason that this generation was lacking in some areas was because the stories of their families hadn't been passed down.  The stories of their family members who had fought and perhaps died in defense of this country and its ideals.  How have we let the celebrity culture take over to the point where a young person can tell you about the newest boy band, but not the story of the men who fought and died?  Even in their own families?  

    I remember hearing the story of my grandfather's sister whose husband died on the beaches of Normandy.  He never got to meet his daughter.  His best friend came home from the war and married my great-aunt, and they tried to make a life.  However, he was so affected by the war that he self-medicated with alcohol, and they split up.  She went on and married again, and is still living in her nineties.  It may not have been a happy story, but I knew it.  It is so sad to me that kids don't know the stories of their families.  

     How can we expect them to have a sense of the history of their country when they don't even know the history of their own family?   They may not be happy stories, but they are important stories.  Kids need to know the unhappy side of life along with the good side.  We cannot have one without the other.  

     So, this Memorial Day, maybe take a few minutes to tell your kids the stories of their family.  And if you don't know any, find out about them.  Begin to instill a sense of a personal history, and you will also be instilling a sense of national history.  And thank you to all those in my family who have served this country.  Especially those who gave all, like my other aunt, who lost a brother just a few years ago in Afghanistan.  So, remember them.  Pray for their families.  And tell their stories.