Monday, as I made my way to the National Cemetery to honor my husband, a proud and faithful Retired Airman, I expected to see a long procession of cars with family members visiting their fallen military loved ones. I was surprised by the small group there. I'm hoping the group I saw was just a small portion of the total number that visited on Memorial Day. Standing at my husband's grave, my heart was filled with the thoughts of his love for his country, The Air Force in which he served, the men from our church group, and ME.
My husband was a dedicated and proud airman. His love for the military did not end when he retired from active duty but continued as a civilian until 1998 when he retired from the Federal Service Under Provisions of the Federal Employees Retirement System. Recalling my husband's dedication to the Air Force as an enlisted airman and to The Army as a Civilian, my heart overflowed with pride as I stood beside his grave.
Standing at his headstone, my tears paid honor and gave loving recognition to my husband for the 38 years we were married. He died in February 2022, after the past thirteen years of declining health. As in every marriage, we had our share of struggles, but we never forgot our vows of, "until death do we part." Before we entered the church on our wedding day, I stopped him at the bottom of the stairs entering the church, and said, "If you have any small thoughts that you might want a divorce, let's turn around NOW! Because I will not EVER go through another divorce." His answer was... "and neither will I." (We both had previous marriages that ended in divorce.)
The worse moments we had in our marriage occurred when he would bring a new car home. Cars were "His thing". He would get a new car faster than I could remember the color of the last one he bought. Knowing I was angry about his new buy, he would just come and wrap his arms around me and wouldn't let me go until I said, "Yes, I forgive you!"
Today, as I think of all of those men and women who are not here to share this beautiful day, my husband included, my heart aches for the pain their families must feel, as do I. So, "Mr. Husband", (my name for him, because he called me "Wife" from the moment we left the church on our wedding day.) REST IN PEACE, until we meet again, FOREVER WITH OUR GOD!
Psalm 56:8 — New Living Translation (NLT): You keep track of all my sorrows.