Catitude to Gratitude

As my cat yakked up her breakfast this morning, I looked out the window at the seven thousandth day of rain, and muttered a quiet curse. Not that the one had anything to do with the other, but it’s Friday, and I really wish I didn’t have to deal with either situation.

But my reality is, on THIS Friday I need to take a breath. While the rest of the world is concerned with American Idol (Can you believe Scotty won?) and the Governator’s Love Child (only one, really??), I am reminded that we live in a pretty remarkable place.  Despite its flaws, (don’t get me started on that) ours is still a pretty great nation.  We have the freedom to express our opinion…blahbity, blah, blah…and not get thrown in jail. Unless your opinion happens to challenge the parentage and fashion sense of the cop who just pulled you over for speeding; then you may have to make a little trip downtown (and that’s on you).

So, as you savor an extra day off this weekend; looking for the perfect barbecue sauce, matching napkins or margarita, give just a moment please. Give a moment to those who have given to us. You don’t have to discuss politics, or agree with the current military action. Just know that without our Armed Forces men and women who chose to serve, we would not be protected as citizens. For all those who are planning to attend festivals, cookouts, or just lounge around in jammies, please remember this: You get to do so at the donation of our military service personnel. They have all volunteered to dedicate their lives to protect and defend of the Constitution of the United States. So, go ahead and offer a simple “Thank You” to those who have, do, and will continue to perform dutifully…here’s mine:

Thank you, Keith. This is the last Memorial Day that you, my big brother will serve as active duty in the Air Force. Your retire one week from today having given nearly three decades of your life to the job. Sorry I can’t be there in person to shake your hand and hug you. Thank you for 28 years of putting your commitment to this nation ahead of your own personal wishes. Thank you for going where you were sent, even if it didn’t make sense to the rest of us. Thank you for the things you’ve seen and must keep tucked in the far corners of your mind that you can’t tell us about. Thank you for serving proudly and with as much dignity as your broad shoulders could bear. Thanks to your wife and daughters, too. They endured your obligation with grace and support.

And most especially, thank you for explaining to me what I need to know as a mother of a son who now proudly serves. Thank you for the patience I hope you will have with me as I try not to worry during his upcoming deployment, and keep the Xanax and margaritas handy for me, just in case. I love and admire you for all you have done!

Gotta go now, the sun is trying to shine, and I need to clean up the cat barf.

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