Man, so much has gone on since my last update here, which I was thinking was over a year and a half ago until I actually looked at my last ‘Happy New Year,’ post and realized, that was one from this year, not 2019 when I actually had the wreck in the cover photo. And oh things are even so much different than they were not even 6 months ago when I made that post. And, I know things will be even more changed in 6 months from now. I’m glad I am aware of that!
We all have a way of allowing life to get by us. We don’t look back often enough and take notice of how far we have come. And because of that, we don’t give ourselves enough pats on the back, not near the amount we deserve. I learned many years back, writing our story down in a journal, even if only meant for us, is the key to growth.
I am lucky enough to have a significant date, April 10th/11th 2005, which is my annual reminder to look back and think about how far I have come. We need to do that way more often than just once a year though. Sometimes life gets so freaking hard when we look back at even a week ago we feel the strength and wisdom we previously thought took years to gain. Some of those steepest mountains we come across may not take us as long to conquer, but the work we must put in sometimes seems life-threatening. But when we able to muster up the ability to stay focused and resilient the payoff is worth it all.
With all that in mind, I’m going to change directions on you all.
What’s your favorite holiday? It’s a question we have been asked over and over and over again in our lives and we all have our favorite ones for specific reasons. My answer for the last many years has been Christmas. Not because of the presents, but because of the smells, the lights, the joy, the decorations, the fires, and the story. But with each passing Memorial day, I’m beginning to realize, this may be one day that is very close in the running for first.
Now, I will feel every so guilty when someone reads this and tells me, “You did know someone who died fighting for your country,”. If that does happen, I’m gonna feel like a real jerk, but right off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone who died in action. I know many people who have been in and still are in the military who I have prayed many nights for a return home for, but thankfully, this day isn’t meant for them.
Dying for my country is something I will never be able to understand. And while we look back at the history of our country, I think it’s safe to say there have been a lot of men who lost their lives who didn’t want to back when we had the draft. Those men didn’t have a choice, they were chosen. The men and women who serve our country today are men and women who CHOOSE to do so.
What would my life be like if we didn’t have the tens of thousands of recruits joining our forces each year? This day always makes research. Today, I looked up how many recruits are added each year. And when I saw that 1000 people make it to the Navy SEAL training but only about 250 make it each year to join the 2,000 others I was a little mind blown. Now, you must know I go down rabbit holes all the time, and the military was one of those. Not only did I read the book by Marcus Luttrell, but I watched documentaries, and read any article I could find. The Navy SEALS have always had my attention.
Micheal Murphy. I’ve read his story maybe a million times and other people tell it so well. But this is how I tell it.
This guy, walked out, into the only clearing where he may receive the signal he needed to send for help. Knowing he was walking to his death, he walked out, turned his back to the gunfire, got the signal, made the call, said thank you to the dispatcher on the other end, all the while being shot over and over and over again. He then proceeded to fire back until he died from his wounds.
That is what memorial day is about. And it reminds me of another story in history. And boy does that make me feel thankful.
While thinking so much and so deeply about this holiday is not something I have voiced too much, other than a few Facebook posts here and there, it is a holiday I hold some of the most respect for. Before today, I had never heard of the Murph Challenge. My roommate’s brother is very much into working out and a very firm believer and participant when it comes to our military. He is also currently staying with us for a short time until he heads back to college and duties. He woke up this morning and did the Murph Challenge with his friend, in full gear with a twenty-pound vest to add to the workout. He and Darian (my roommate/his sister) left a short time ago to go do it. He’s on his second challenge of the day. It was then I realized, I bet that challenge came about because of the Micheal Murphy I hold in such high regard. And with a little googling, I found that to be true. I’m disappointed in myself for not knowing about that sooner!
I leave you with this. Slow down. Take a look at where you are today and how far you have come. And don’t forget to give thanks to those who have not only helped you on your journey but thank those who have also made it possible.
Thank you to all the men and women who have lost their lives fighting for the life I am lucky to live. I am forever in debt to their families and will use today as another yearly reminder to accomplish good things with my time here. The world would be a better place if we all did the same.
This is for all the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for people like me. I thank you with every ounce of my being.