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Memorial Day Remember
Cemetery Watchman .
My friend Kevin and I are volunteers at aNational cemetery in Oklahoma and put in a few days a month in a 'slightly larger' uniform. Today had been a long, long day and I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's and have a cold one. Sneaking a look at my watch,
I saw the time, 16:55. Five minutes to go before the cemetery gates are closed for the day.
Full dress was hot in the August sun Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever--the heat and humidity at the same level--both too high.
I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, looked factory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace.. An old woman got out so slow I thought she was paralyzed; she had a cane and a sheaf of flowers--about four or five bunches as best I could tell.
I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter taste: 'She's going to spend an hour, and for this old soldier, my hip hurts like heck and I'm ready to get out of here right now!' But for this day,my duty was to assist anyone coming in.
Kevin would lock the 'In' gate and if I could hurry the old biddy along, we might make it to Smokey's in time.
I broke post attention. My hip made gritty noises when I took the first step and the pain went up a notch. I must have made a real military sight:middle-aged man with a small pot gut and half a limp, in marine full-dress uniform, which had lost its razor crease about thirty minutes after I began the watch at the cemetery.
I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old woman's squint.
'Ma'am, may I assist you in any way?'
She took long enough to answer.
'Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these days.'
'My pleasure, ma'am.' (Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.)
She looked again. 'Marine, where were you stationed?'
' Vietnam , ma'am.. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71.'
She looked at me closer.
'Wounded in action, I see. Well done, Marine. I'll be as quick as I can.'
I lied a little bigger: 'No hurry, ma'am.'
She smiled and winked at me.
'Son, I'm 85-years-old and I can tell a lie from a long way off.. Let's get this done. Might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time..'
'Yes, ma 'am. At your service.'
She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one of the flower bunches out of my arm and laid it on top of the stone.
She murmured something I couldn't quite make out.. The name on the marble was,
Donald S. Davidson, USMC:
She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section,stopping at one stone I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her cheek.
She put a bunch on a stone; the name was,
Stephen X. Davidson, USMC, 1943.
She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J. Wieserman, USMC, 1944.
She paused for a second and more tears flowed.
'Two more, son, and we'll be done'
I almost didn't say anything, but, 'Yes, ma'am. Take your time.'
She looked confused..
'Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my way.'
I pointed with my chin.
'That way, ma'am.'
'Oh!' she chuckled quietly.
'Son, me and old age ain't too friendly.'
She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on,
Larry Wieserman, USMC, 1968, and the last one
Darrel Wieserman, USMC, 1970.
She stood there and murmured a few words I still couldn't make out and more tears flowed.
'OK, son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can go home.'
Yes, ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk?'
'Yes, Donald Davidson was my father,Stephen was my uncle, Stanley was my Husband, Larry and Darrel were our sons. All killed in action, all Marines.'
She stopped! Whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know.
She made her way to her car, slowly and painfully.
I waited for a polite distance to come between us and then double-timed it over to Kevin, waiting by the car.
'Get to the 'Out' gate quick.. I have something I've got to do.'
Kevin started to say something, but saw the look I gave him. He broke the rules to get us down the service road fast. We beat her.
She hadn't made it around the rotunda yet.
'Kevin, stand at attention next to the gatepost.
Follow my lead.'
I humped it across the drive to the other post.
When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best gunny's voice:
I have to hand it to Kevin; he never blinked an eye--full dress attention and a salute that would make his DI proud. She drove through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a send-off she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for knowing duty, honor and sacrifice far beyond the realm of most.
I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.
Instead of 'The End,' just think of 'Taps.'
As a final thought on my part, let me share a favorite prayer:
'Lord, keep our servicemen and women safe, whether they serve at home or overseas.
Hold them in your loving hands and protect them as they protect us.'
Let's all keep those currently serving and those who have gone before in our thoughts.
They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy.
'In God We Trust.'
Sorry about your monitor; it made mine blurry too!
Written on 27 May at 10:44AM
No comments have been posted yet. (You must be logged in to post comments)
Please God forgive a silent tear,
a constant wish that he was here.
Others were taken, yes I know,
But he was mine and I loved him so.
He bid no one a last farewell,
nor even said good-bye.
He was gone before I knew it
and only God knows why.
If all the world were mine to give
I'd give it all and more, to
see that loving face of his just once more.
For those who have someone who means alot,
Treasure them with care,
For you never know their value
til you see their vacant chair.
Written on 31 Aug at 3:34PM
Today I learned a dear friends husband is nearing the end. Cancer is taking him.
She's known for a short time that she would be losing him. My heart goes out to her
for what is to come.
You see I am coming up on the 4 yr annv. of Glenn's death. All the memories are
I wonder, I lost him in a matter of minutes, no warning, no time to say good bye.
Which is harder.... not getting to say good bye or knowing you have to say good bye?
There is no answer for that. Losing a loved one is the most painful thing we have to
You know it doesn't seem like 4 years since I seen him, touched him, or held him,
yet at that same time it feels like eternity.
I Have my memories, and so will she. Oh but they can never replace that empty,
aching spot in your heart.
But I wouldn't give them up for anything.We will go on.
Written on 24 Jul at 2:47PM
My daughters book
Written on 31 Mar at 2:48PM
2 comments (You must be logged in to post comments)
If tomorrow starts without me
If tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
that an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
it seemed almost impossible,
that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all that we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss some tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much a t home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
>From His great golden throne,
He said, 'This is eternity,
And all I've promised you.'
Today your life on earth is past,
but here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
and since each day is the same way,
There's no longing for the past.
So when tomorrow starts without me,
don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart '
Author "David M Romano"
Written on 18 Jan at 10:30AM
Being alone is not so bad I guess.
There is no one to tell me to straighten up the mess.
I donít have to worry that someone is doing OK,
Or bother to think if they are having a good day.
I donít have to care what they might feel,
Or if there is a heartache that might have to heal
I donít have to care about taking the covers at night.
I donít have to think that what I say might cause a fight.
I donít have to wonder if they are thinking about me.
I donít have to worry, I can just let things be.
I can watch what I want on my TV companion
And go where I will with reckless abandon.
Being alone is worse than being dead
For never a caress to soothe my tired head.
Never a word or thought of my plight.
Alone I sleep every night.
Iíd give anything to be with the man I love,
To hold him and keep him and fill his heart with love
Alas, it cant or wont be I fear
Never shall I have him near
Empty my life will be from now on
For the love of my life is now gone
I wish I could keep him and hold him near
But he is gone and never will I have him again, my dear.
John W. Miller ©
Written on 4 Jun at 8:42AM
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