Bonnie’s Beach 🏖

My Life. My Experiences. My Love. My Words.

To Remember…

Memorial Day has always been a sad day of remembrance. It is a day to honor the brave soldiers who gave their lives for their country so that we can live freely in it. I’m lucky. Everyone I know from my stint in the Army is still alive. Not all of them are well, but they’re all still here and living the best life they can. Some have seen war, some more than once, and others have not. Everyone’s experiences are vastly different, but we all share one thing in common. We all signed documents stating we would die for our country if the time came.

Remembering those who died in service to their country once a year hardly seems sufficient. The Facebook and Instagram and Twitter feeds are full of reminders and pictures and quotes to share their thanks for those who are no longer here to say you’re welcome. Memorials are erected. Flags are put up downtown. Speeches are given. Blogs are written. Moments of silence are quietly regarded.

This holiday weekend is also regarded as the beginning of summer. Pools and water parks are open for the season. The boats are prepped for pulling tubes and wakeboarders around lakes. Grills are lit. Food and drinks are shared. Friends and family get together. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company that observes Memorial Day as a holiday, even better! So it’s easy to forget the reason behind the celebration. There were men and women, just like us, who believed in this country enough to give everything for it. Everything. Whether it was their job, or they were ordered to, they did it.

A friend on FB really got my mind going which inspired my writing about today. She and her family visited gravesites of fallen soldiers. This woman is an amazing American, and so is her husband. They are proud and not afraid to show it and say it, and they are instilling those values into their daughter. From all the posts I see year after year, hers was the only one that stood out to me. It was the only one that made me ask myself if I am truly a proud American. Do I really appreciate the sacrifices that were made so I can enjoy the freedoms I have today? And I am. And I do. With all of my heart.

So I say thank you to those who can never tell me you’re welcome. I thank those who have served with friends they lost on the battlefields. I thank those who lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, parents, and best friends. Because they remember the fallen every single day. Thank you to the brave who made the ultimate sacrifice, and thank you to those who have to live without them for the rest of their lives.

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Love Is…

Amazing! It gives you the gift of flight to soar above the clouds. It motivates you. It allows you to see parts of your world you didn’t even know existed. It makes you brave. It makes you smile. It makes your heart skip a beat.

It’s also terrible. In a way. When you had it, and then one day it is gone. Poof! That strength and invincibility no longer support your weight above the clouds. You dive, headfirst, into an abyss where the world around you is gray toned and dull. You hide. You cry. Your heart hurts.

The saying, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” is such a statement of truth. Many of us have been through the highs and lows of love, only to come out more hardened and hidden away, afraid of having our hearts broken yet again. But when you say fuck it and let love happen, you hesitantly and somewhat cautiously dive in. The mistakes of the past make you leery of the what ifs. What if this doesn’t work? What if he leaves me? What if she decides she’s better off alone? All those what ifs that scream in the back of your mind, vying for your attention. How do you ignore them?

You choose to.

You choose to love rather than fear the unknown. And yes. Love can make you blind. But when you’re a seasoned veteran of love and love lost, you can’t help to be prepared. As long as you’re prepared you have nothing to fear, right? This world we live in is built on fear. Survival of the fittest is in our DNA. We can’t help it. We as humans can survive without love. Although, what a sad world to live in without love. Those chemicals that release hormones and the sensations of love, are there for our survival. But who wants to get into the technicalities?!

Love. It hits you when you least expect it. It makes you tongue-tied and stupid and crazy and silly and happy. Everyone’s experience with love is different. Some find the love of their life early on. Some don’t find it until the end. Some find it only to have it ripped away and taken from them forever. It’s a battle of love and evil. The good and the bad. And love usually ends up winning. How many times do we see an act of hate only to be muted by acts of love? How often are we engulfed in pain and suffering to be gifted with a warm meal, a shoulder to cry on, a kind word, or a simple hug?

Love in all its forms dominate our lives in some way. How do you decide when to take the leap? How do you know when it’s real? How do you know that you’ll never be hurt again? You don’t.

You take a deep breath and leap.

And you love with everything you have.

And you learn to fly all over again.

-Bonnie 💙

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