Today, Of All Days

I feel less guilty as the years pass. A stupid law wedged between countless archaic statues of 1998 Texas would become a huge factor later on in my life. That night, however, I simply felt pissed I was the only of the 4 of us to be arrested. Over some pot, no less. 

7 years later I joined the Navy. I wanted to be a Corpsman, a field medic. That was what I wanted to do, I had my mind set. I wasn’t allowed due to my possession charge. The Navy was concerned I was gonna steal some drugs maybe? 

The answer to that particular question doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing that mattered was that it had happened, and because of that I wasn’t allowed to do what I really wanted. 

I often wonder what would have happened to me had I been allowed to. I wonder how different or similar my life would have been.  And it would have been radically different, I’m sure. 

Memorial Day evokes so many emotions in me. Anger, sadness, a feeling of forlorn empathy yet equally unequivocal gratitude. I suppose in many ways it epitomizes life in that is both light and dark, alpha and omega, yin and yang. 

I feel saddened that people seem to only show gratitude on certain days. To them today is all about burgers and dogs. To them they are blissfully oblivious to what we actually sacrifice. 

Today is about my brothers and sisters who went before me, who came after me. The ones that never came back. 

It’s not about burgers and dogs, barbecue and beer, shopping and days off. It’s about them. Those who won’t ever come back. 

Agree with why they went or not, the reasons we fought or not, none of those matter. What matters is that those people, those fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters, they should always be remembered by somebody. 

They should always be honored in the fact that when no one else stepped up, they did, knowing what the price was. 

That is why I’m choosing to write this today. 

I got to spend my day with my awesome 4 year old daughter. Today was the first day I wasn’t overwhelmingly guilty. Today I was thankful.

Thankful for being able to hold her, to see her smile, to laugh with her. Today I allowed myself to enjoy it. 

Be thankful for someone in your life. If not everyday then at least the ones that make us stop and take stock of what should be truly important. As always, remember that at least one person in this world loves you, regardless if we’ve met or not. 

Ramon

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