As we sit and enjoy our first juicy hot dog and barbecue of the summer, remember why we are celebrating this three day weekend. We should remember those men and women of our military who lost their lives so that we may have the freedoms we have in our lives. Memorial Day is a reminder that our freedom didn’t come cheaply and that there are families everywhere, and through the pages of time, that have mourned the loss of a family member, a spouse, a friend, a cousin that lost life in protecting the freedom and honor of the United States. Memorial Day is a legal holiday in the United States which is observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who served in the US military.
It originated following the Civil War and became an official American holiday in 1971. American observe this holiday by family gatherings, participating in parades, and even visiting cemeteries. It is the unofficial beginning of the summer season as citizens hang flags and decorative items on their lawn commemorating and honoring our soldiers.
So when you dig into that grilled hot dog and open your first cold one on Memorial Day, please remember why we are celebrating this day. It is an honor to be an American and we need to remind ourselves of the freedoms we hold dear. Why do people from other countries want to make this their home? Because they want to feel this freedom and honor what we do on Memorial Day and should every single day as a citizen of America.
Often I sit and reflect on the changes in my life, especially most recently, that have affected my overall goals and feelings about my life in general. I have reached a point where as I see my beautiful daughters all grown up and living their lives, where I see retirement from my teaching career in the near distant future, that I think more about where I may be headed.
First of all, I have decided to go forward and forgive those who have wronged me in the past. Sometimes people do things or act a specific way (and I’m sure I am just as guilty) that they do not intentionally mean. We cannot dwell on the past but should only move forward and make the very best of our future. I say this as a person who has done the best job I can as a wife, mother, teacher and friend. Morally, I always hear my mother’s voice in the background telling me the right thing to do. The only difference is that some of my choices may have not been my mothers. This I must accept as I move forward to becoming a better version of myself. I often ask myself if I am too young to retire and then quickly answer myself that I need to do this while I still love the profession, maybe just not the everyday parts of it. Teaching children has always been my greatest joy but unfortunately my joy is often interrupted by administrative orders and programs that I may object to and know that in the long run are not helping my students thrive. I plan to enjoy every moment with these children until my last day as a teacher.
I sit here knowing that I have an entire world waiting for me. Already I have committed myself to wellness and health in my diet, exercise and most recently as a Melaleuca representative. I also see myself using my knowledge in the education field to pursue some other dreams: writing, curriculum planning, and mentoring others who want to become teachers I reflect on all these aspirations as this school year will soon come to a close. During the next year I plan to make my retirement plan come to fruition. One more year in second grade and putting my all into every day and enjoying it to the fullest. In this way, I can leave proudly and ready to embark on the rest of my life.
I sit here today and think about my past with forgiveness in my heart but also joy for the strength it has given me to become the me I want to be. Also I remember the times where I felt as if I could not go on because of the doings of someone else. I also reflect on how much I miss my parents so deeply every day that I feel them inside of me giving me undying strength. At the end of the day, move forward as yourself, forgive others and remember you don’t have to keep everyone in your life, but they traveled with you for a portion of your life for a reason. Enjoy every day as if it is your last. Find forgiveness and tranquility in your life.