Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

 Being a part of the Military community I have known people who are the reason for Memorial Day.  I know several Gold Star Wives and families.  I know that for them, every day is Memorial Day. And in all honesty, for those affected by their deaths, every day is Memorial Day for us, too.

I am sure that by now you have been inundated with posts about Memorial Day. "What Is Memorial Day?"  "What to do on Memorial Day." " If You Do Anything Remotely Fun On Memorial Day You Are a Horrible Person and Will Be Visited By Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses Every Day For the Rest of Your Life You Horrible, Horrible Person."  I'm not going to write another one of those articles. I will, however, say my piece; do with it what you like.  I'm not the boss of you; not having respect on Memorial Day won't make me judge you any more than I already do.

Memorial Day is about remembering those who have died. It doesn't mean that you have to sit shiva for people you don't know, or even for people you have known.

You don't have to feel bad for enjoying the day. It is the "unofficial" start of summer. It is a long weekend for most people, and in most places the weather is finally nice enough to enjoy the day. Go shop. Grill out. Get drunk. Live.

All you really could do is remember. Just remember. Remember that this world is not just about you and your circle of friends, family, co-workers, innocent by-standers, or the guy you see every morning walking his dog.

Remember why this country was started in the first place. Remember how it started. (Spoiler alert: it was not an amicable divorce.) This country didn't just appear; there were a lot of people who worked hard and gave up a lot to make it so.

Remember that you have rights and freedoms. You have the right to save 60% off a new mattress, or to finally get that 384-inch plasma/radioactive spider-fueled TV you've been lusting for. You have the right to read this, or any other thing and roll your eyes. You have the right to do that, and more, but you are not simply entitled to them.

You have those rights because people greater than us sacrificed for it. They fought for it. They died for it. Remember that.

Remember that we are STILL at war. We are still training, deploying, fighting; that probably won't end soon.  Our husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, roomate's uncle's half-nephew by marriage are still dying.

Don't not enjoy the day. (Double-negative used on purpose here. It's my voice. Put that red pen down.) I know people who would be annoyed if you didn't take enjoyment from the day. So go shop, barbecue, swim, party, sleep, or whatever.

Appreciate that you can.
Remember those who have made it possible.
Then appreciate it a little bit more.

Monday, May 11, 2015

This really isn't about a toaster.

Note: I fully acknowledge that what I am about to post is possibly the most ridiculously frivolous problem one can have. That, in the entirety that is my life, if this is the biggest issue, then today is a great day. That said...

My toaster oven is about to shit the bed. We rarely use it for ovening...mostly for toasting. I'm thinking of going to a 4-slice pop-up toaster but I'm nervous about doing so. I can't imagine a situation that would necessitate constant ovening in my toaster and have often thought that a pop-up would be easier...especially for Alexander.

Big picture: this is not even in it. I mean, just today my best friend in high school and her husband adopted a baby from China; another friend is dealing with ER trips and public racially-insensitive declarations from her 11-year-old; I'm dealing with a new toaster. #FirstWorldProblems, indeed. 

In reality, though, I think I'm over-stressing about this decision because it's one that I can make--it won't be made for me by a trained medical professional. The results of buying whichever toaster will still be toasted bread and waffles. No medication changes, or violent outbursts, or trips to the hospital. At the end of the day, waffles will be made. There will be no tip-toeing around the possibility of waffles or no waffles; waffles will be served. And toasted.  

This should be an easy decision to make--the easiest one I've had to make in a while. A decision that has no bad choices. But I'm standing here, staring at a toaster oven and a 4-slice pop-up toaster with the worry that life as I know it will end if I choose the wrong one. And I'm sure I'm projecting my fear and unease about all that has happened the past few weeks on to a seemingly innocuous 
situation because I probably haven't fully absorbed or dealt with the past few weeks and it's easier to admit being scared to buy the right toaster than it is to say I'm scared for my son and his future. 

Whelp. There it is. I think I'll get the pop-up.