I’ve seen lots of posts & articles criticizing folks for their sentiments today – things like “Happy Memorial Day” or “Enjoy your long weekend!” Obviously we need to be more thoughtful and respectful of today’s holiday. It isn’t just a “day off” or even just the “unofficial kickoff to summer” as so many of us celebrate.
Most of us do actually know this is a day to honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country – those fallen soldiers who served in the US military, either at home or abroad. Yes, we know it. But yes, we fail to honor it as much as we should. At least most of us do.
So today I’m asking you to do something simple, yet so important…REMEMBER those who have given us these freedoms and liberties that we take advantage of all so often as citizens of the United States. REMEMBER those who laid down life and limb on behalf of people they aren’t related to and never even met.
After that, it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy the time you get to spend with your family and friends. To RELAX with those you still have in your circle and REJUVENATE so you can go out and spread happiness or make your mark on the world. If all we do is shoot fireworks and grill hotdogs, are we really honoring and REMEMBERing these important servicemen and servicewomen?
In Rotary, we are #PeopleOfAction who want to create lasting change around the globe and here at home. Isn’t that an ideal way to REMEMBER these heroes, by continuing their legacy of making the world a better place to live and work?
I’m not from a military family (y’all know… I’m a preacher’s kid!) so I don’t always know the appropriate things to say or do. But here’s what I do know… how to say REMEMBER the countless soldiers who have given their lives on behalf of our country, how to say “thank you” in a prayer of thanksgiving in their memory, and most importantly, how to pray on behalf of those still serving our nation that their families will not be REMEMBERing them next Memorial Day.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” What are you doing today, this weekend, or next week to change your future? I have a long list…
One of the things on my “to do” list (aka my “daily agenda” for those who have been following me for a while!) was to start a podcast surrounding my (not-so) famous line “Find your passion, and make it your purpose.” I finally got around to doing it as part of my #50for50 in honor of turning 50, but I decided to make it a “vlogcast” instead so you could see my conversations with all these amazing folks!
In this new series, I look forward to introducing you to people who are changing the world through their beliefs, actions, careers, volunteerism, families and more…
My first episode features HALF of my conversation with my friend Tara McClary Reeves. Yes… HALF of our conversation. What can I say? We are both talkers!
I’m so grateful to Tara for spending time with me recently to share so many wonderful stories – you may recognize her father, Lt. Clebe McClary – and if you haven’t yet seen her lovely children’s book about growing up with Clebe as her father, I hope you’ll purchase your very own copy!
Here in the US, we recognize the second Sunday in May as “Mother’s Day.” It’s celebrated in hundreds of different ways, and of course last year differently than ever before. Hopefully many of you were able to spend time with your mother in person this year. And if you don’t have your mom (like my brother and me), or if you aren’t yet able to see her in person, I hope you were able to recall fond memories of time spent together.
For me, I spent the day on the road, but not to Spartanburg as I had in years past. This makes my third Mother’s Day without my mom. But it’s just one day out of the year that I miss our our adventures together, our friendship, and mostly, her unconditional love. I was blessed, as many of you are or were, to have a remarkable mother that maybe never knew just how incredible she was. I’m sure I told her every once in a while, but definitely not every day or nearly as much as she deserved.
Interesting that last week we also celebrated Nurses Week & Teacher Appreciation Week. Talk about a grand slam of folks who understand what it means to be a nurturer and positive influence… WOW!
I never had children of my own, but I dearly love all my nieces and nephews (and great nieces and great nephews!) and would like to think I’ve had a small part in raising them (still do….the oldest is 40 but the youngest is 3!). Whether or not we are mothers or parents or teachers or nurses…I still believe we are all of the same race-the human one. And we can all have influence over those who may not seek it but definitely need it.
To all my many “adopted mothers” out there – and you know who you are – thank you for your influence on me still today. I’m grateful for the love and friendship of so many positive women of action.