Memorial Day

Take the time to remember… Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day means so much more than cookouts, beach trips, a day out of school, summer’s-just-around-the corner, and sales. The reality of how lost the meaning of behind it is on today’s youth smacked me in the face this morning.

I sent each of my three daughters and my father a text. It was short and simple as seen in the picture and caption.

An hour or so later, I got a text from one of my daughters.

“Please don’t spam my phone with unimportant pictures messages.”

My first reaction was outrage. Unimportant!! Spam!! Then, it occurred to me that she had no clue about the picture or what it represented.

I took the picture this morning after lowering the flag to half-mast while talking with my father, a disabled veteran. Currently, his is visiting an old friend he served with in Vietnam. To him, it is important that his flag show his remembrance for those died while actively serving in the military. Not just those who died during his time, but to honor ALL those who gave their lives, past and present.

Had it not been for those who were willing to give their lives would she have been able to have a cell phone? Would she be alive today?

Very few who served in the unit my father was in survived. In 1991, her father joined the U. S. Marine Corps and served eight years. How many have given their lives since she was born in 1996?

She and I visited Arlington National Cemetery in 2011. I remember her looking over the field of white marble and watching the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Today, I wonder how many have bothered to take a moment to think about what it has cost for us to have our simple everyday freedoms. For example, the freedom to share what we believe to be important. Or our right to openly regard that sharing as a nuisance with words “spam” and “unimportant picture messages.”

Saying Hello to the Neighbors

While certain I began to follow more than the five blogs from this assignment in the last 36 hours, I selected a variety. Here are the last several:

  • Five Senses Abroad
  • Untainted and Odd
  • Frankly Writing
  • In Others’ Words
  • Dreaming Big Living Small
  • Daily Record 365

The five tags I began following are:

  • Writing
  • Blogging101
  • Depression
  • Tiny house
  • North Carolina

~Anna

Introduction

Hello. My name is Anna. Welcome to my blog.

To start, I would like to share some of the history behind my being here.

As a child, I recall telling my mother I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Laughing, she would tell me that was crazy. No one would want to hear what I had to say. Looking back, it is funny since she loved talking about what a vivid imagination I had.

That vivid imagination and thirst for romance novels at the age of twelve earned me an after-school talk with my sixth-grade English teacher, Mr. Hancock, after excitedly asking him to take a look at a story I was working on. He was concerned that the first few pages of my work-in-progress, a romance, contained more detail than he felt was possible unless I was being molested by some adult in my life. I tucked the papers away and never picked the story up again.

At some point in the future, I may finish the story and dedicate it to the memory of my great-grandmother, who introduced me to romance novels, and Mr. Hancock for his concern over my safety and letting me know that it was indeed a decent attempt at the genre.

Near the end of 2000, my mother got this nifty little box called a Web TV which allowed a person to use a dial-up connection and TV to connect to the internet without having to have a computer. By that time, I was a mother myself. However, the desire to write and share with the world was still strong. I talked her into allowing me to use her Web TV once a week. I began a “home page” to share the little ways in which I saw God working in my life during the previous week. Again, she and my husband (now, ex-husband) laughed together at how ridiculous it was to think anyone would care. Both were miffed as I ignored their scoffing and continued to write. The project didn’t last long; a lightening strike killed the box.

Since that time, I returned to college, divorced, watched my three daughters grow into young adults, and completed a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Writing. I have witnessed the birth of three of my four grandchildren. I watched my two oldest daughters marry. Last year, my youngest daughter graduated from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and is currently in her freshman year of college. At the present, I am taking an academic break with the intention of going to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in Counseling.

For years, the idea of blogging has been bouncing around in my head; however, the major question has been what to blog about. I considered a multitude of topics and have yet to determine what topic or group of topics to make the focus of a blog. Topics such as:

  • Depression – having battled depression for a majority of my life, it is something I know about from a personal perspective and have learned about through my academic pursuits.
  • Mental illness in a broader sense – I am well acquainted with a variety of other mental illnesses as well through family and friends living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (type-II), dissociative identity disorder (DID), ADD, ADHD, PTSD, and several personality disorders among other forms of mental illness. I firmly believe that the stigma attached to mental illness deters many from seeking help and that educating people can help overcome some of the stigma.
  • Parenting – the practical experience of raising three daughters, a wealth of knowledge through examining my own blunders, and the formal education provided by my course work has helped me gain a more well-rounded idea of the challenges facing today’s parents and some ideas of ways to help overcome them.
  • Divorce – living through it, adjusting to life after, taking care of the children during such a difficult time.
  • Empty-nest life
  • Offer resources for information on any of the above topics.
  • And other ideas that have yet to be mentioned as they are still struggling to push their way through the fertile soil lodged in my brain where I can see what they are.

I have enrolled in this course with the desire to accomplish four primary goals.

  1. Develop a blogging habit.
  2. Narrow my focus or decide whether to have more than one blog.
  3. Garner feedback that can help me improve my writing.
  4. Join a community of writers who want to share part of themselves with the world.

Always ~

Anna