That was the question my two year old asked me when he came upon me today, tears slipping down my cheeks, lost in my own world.
"I'm remembering baby", I answered him.
"Remembering what?" Those big blue eyes looked up at me and he reached out and placed his hand on my own.
Remembering what? This was a harder question for me to answer completely. At two his heart is big and open and wants to take away everyone else's hurt. I didn't want to burden him with the depth of what I was feeling.
I told him I was remembering Poppa, which was not a lie, although it wasn't really the whole truth either. My four year old piped up with his own memories of Poppa John (his great grandfather).
Poppa John was a veteran of World War II and although he survived the war and came home and went on to be father to eight children, we lost him earlier this year, at the end of June. He was not a perfect man, but he was perfectly what I needed him to be as my grandfather. Fitting then, on this day, for me to be remembering him, along with the other men and women who have served and are serving this country proudly so that me and my children can have our freedom.
This day, in some ways, marked the end of my own freedom several years ago. That pain, those memories, were in fact also bubbling over into my tears when my son found me. I couldn't really explain that to him though, indeed I can't really put into words the depth of my feelings at all. That will be a post for another day. Tomorrow perhaps, or perhaps not.
Right now I will focus my thoughts on gratitude for those men and women, for the ones who came home and the ones who did not, for the ones who fought before and the ones fighting today. For my Poppa. For all the others who were and are spouses, children, parents... loved.
Thank you. I will never forget. May none of us ever ever forget.