Veteran’s Day is a tough day for me. I think about how my dad loved his country so much and was grateful for all those that served.
Growing up, I remember my dad taking me to Veteran’s Day parades. Just him and I. He had such pride for all the current and past military citizens. There were a few times that he would go by himself to the parade because I was an emotional pre teen that didn’t want to go. Now I wish I had.
My dad would go out of his way to anyone in uniform, to stop and tell them thank you for their service. My dad knew what it was like sacrificing his life and family by being in the military, Navy to be exact. He did not make a career out of the Navy, only being enlisted for 2 years. However, I believe those 2 years had a big impact on his life. He spent 2 tours in Vietnam. He saw things that no one should see. He had fun though too. He told me once that once his chores were done on the ship, he would go down and hang out at the beach for awhile. He missed his moms marriage while he was away at war. My grandpa (step grandpa I guess, I never met my biological grandpa), this man my grandma married was MY grandpa I loved so much. They were together until they died. So he missed a pretty big moment while being away.
I had a dream early this morning about a Veteran’s Day parade. I was lined up to watch a parade in a small town. I was sitting on the side of the street, looking at all the flags lined up in front of the row houses, moving ever so slightly in the breeze. My life seemed to stand still. It was just me, alone sitting on this deserted street. I felt so alone. My dad wasn’t there to see it and I couldn’t feel his presence. That despair and loneliness was so isolating. I was left to cry on that street, alone, wishing my dad was with me.
Sometimes my grief feels like that. Isolated and alone. No one truly knows what I am going through. What I am thinking. What I am questioning. It’s hard. And it’s lonely.
And that’s why I share my story and continue to do so. You are not alone in your grief. We may not have the same struggles with grief or the same outlook, but we still are experiencing all the emotions of this grief. I think our burden lifts a little when we share it. No one wants to feel alone. It’s lonely and depressing! So that’s why I share. We can lift each other up. And to give people hope that they aren’t alone in this grief struggle.
It has been awhile since I personally talked about my grief to someone. I finally did yesterday and it felt so good. Just a small chat turned into an amazing conversation. We found out we shared even more similarities with our grief struggle. It felt so dang good to connect and share our thoughts and feelings!
I hope you have a friend in your life that you can confide in and share your thoughts with. And know that you are not alone, however lonely this grief may feel.
Happy Veteran’s Day Dad. I love you so much!