I want to say a special Thank You to my family and friends who served our country in the military. Your dedication and love for our country and way of life is awe inspiring to me and many others. Most are thankfully still with me, but some have gone on.
Right about now, my Aunt Cheryl is going to the family cemetary to make sure that the graves all have some new blooms and are cleaned up from the past few months. If I still lived in Pennsylvania, I would be right there beside her...
Hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday...and be sure to remember your loved ones who also served our country.
Cemetery Escort Duty
I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's for a few cold ones. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. 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 hell 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 the last half of happy hour at Smokey's.
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 30 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 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, France 1918.
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, "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 on Darrel Wieserman USMC, 1970.
She stood there and murmured a few words I still couldn't make out. "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 ?"
She paused. "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 there down the service road. We beat her. She hadn't made it around the rotunda yet.
"Kevin, stand to attention next to the gate post. 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: "TehenHut! Present Haaaarms!"
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.
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.
This little trick was recently shared with me by an old Native American woman.
She said that the reason why infants get constipated is because they cannot move around like toddlers and grown ups. And that is how we all usually get things moving in the right direction...so to speak.
So how do you do it? Just remove all your baby's clothes, diaper included. Lay your baby on a soft towel and put a little olive oil on your fingers and start gently massaging the lower abdominal area. More than likely your baby will love this activity and start smiling. Then before you know it, things will start happening and your cranky baby will be happy again!
I tried this recently with Miss Bry. She is just starting to eat baby food and was having a hard time going poo. After a couple days of watching her struggle, I tried this procedure. Within 20 minutes, everything was back in working order. Could not believe how fast it worked too.
Oh the things you learn and are willing to do when your baby is hurting.
P.S. She also said that I could take a little Vicks Vapor Rub
So, after the Graduation Party, it was time to hurry home and "bribe" the girls into taking a nap followed by a quick bubble bath. The tubbie was the easy part. They were not too excited about going to sleep, but they eventually did.
Wonder what they were dreaming about...more cupcakes maybe?
(On a sidenote...Couldn't get a cute picture of Kaleigh sleeping...she was face down covered in stuffed animals!)
We had to be at the Graduation Ceremony location by 5:45 pm to do the Processional Rehursal. Made it there by 6...not bad for a crazed Aunt & Mommy taking care of two Preschoolers, one toddler, and a clinging baby.
Here are the girls with some classmates waiting for all the guests to arrive. Kadence wanted to sit with the big kids too.
Just before the program was suppose to start, the kids were told to take a seat in the back of the auditorium. Kaleigh got to sit by Zachery. Kyla was a little pouty because she likes Zack...even made Brad & I go over and meet his father!
Her mood lifted when she was paired with Alejandro for the songs. She now cannot decide between marrying Zackery or Alejandro...I keep telling her that she has a few more years before she needs to make up her mind.
Here they are "rushing" the stage, almost knocking Ms. Wanda over.
And my two singing nightinggales...
After a quick costume change, they were ready to get into position and wait for "Pomp & Circumstance" to begin.
Kyla was eagerly looking forward to her solo walk across the stage.
Kaleigh was a bit more apprehensive.
And how cute is this photo of Kyla and her friend, Kylie.
Kyla walked down the aisle so fast that I couldn't get a photo...but we did get this one of her onstage beside Zachery.
Kaleigh was slower, but wouldn't lift up her head so I could get her face.
The first photos of the Preschool Graduates.
And the cap toss makes it official!
All the excitement made the girls a little tired, but they both loved looking at their diplomas and smelling their roses. Such sweet little ladies.
And in less than five years, it will be Bryleigh's turn to wear the cap and gown...
Thanks Ms. Sherri. Kyla & Kaleigh really enjoyed their time at your school. Are you sure that you don't want to add Kindergarden? I have two little girls that would sign up in a heartbeat!
So, here is to your first Graduation. The two of you did a wonderful job. Now enjoy the summer before you head on to your next adventure.
I am a SAHM living in Sunny, Florida with my wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. The four of us are lucky to be surrounded by our extended family and friends.
In 2009, I decided to start my own business and become an Independent Consultant for Tastefully Simple.