Today the boys and I spent some time at the Museum of Aviation aboard the Robins Air Force Base Georgia.
It was a good place for us to be today. The boys really enjoyed looking at all of the planes and tinkering with various instruments, they even got Mommy into one of the simulators!
We sat down and watched a video about the Normandy Invasion, specifically detailing the experience of several of the 507th Paratroopers, and their fight for the La Fiere Causeway. The men in the video described how they lost 500 + men and how absolutely devastating it was. I couldn’t help but cry for those men and their families.
How was it a good place for us to be if I left in tears? I couldn’t sit there and listen to those men speak and not acknowledge how blessed Michael’s team was to have only lost one. In fact, in 28 months of combat deployments, Michael was the only casualty. It is absolutely heartbreaking for me, for the children, and family and friends of Michael, but I imagined how much worse it could have been for more than just me. I wish it never happened…but it did. And I am glad no other families from the team share in my grief.
It is easy to get so caught up in your own grief that you stop thinking about how life has affected others. Hearing those men speak reminded me of a lot of things…how terribly awful war is (for both sides), how things happen in every day life that are earth shattering and tragic, how everyone has a story….
Today I didn’t want to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself or be angry. I feel like I am fully entitled to wallow in my own misery today, but I just didn’t want to. I wanted to laugh. I wanted to show my kids cool things. I wanted to remember Michael for who he was to ME and the kids. I miss him so much…but I am so grateful for the amount of time we had together.
At the end of the day I think I know what to do on this day from here on out…remember all the men who fought. Remember all the men who sacrificed. Remember all the families who lost. Last year I went to the Marine Corps Museum, this year to an Air Force museum…both calmed my soul in unexpected ways. While it is hard to watch and learn and see all the pain from past wars, I feel less alone. I think going to military museums is a good tradition for me to start…because it requires me to focus on more than myself. And it gives the children a new perspective too. We aren’t the only ones…
Best part about today, besides my children’s laughter…our trip ended with a rainbow.
PS…Love the quote on the picture.