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Each year just before Mother's Day, I find myself feeling a sense of longing. It is a wish that never seems to go away. A need or desire to see and talk to my mother just one more time. Despite the fact that my mom has been gone for nine years, the yearning to once again feel my mother's love never goes away. It is always with me, but it becomes more of an issue around Mother's Day, a time when we like to remember our mothers, show them how much we appreciate them and, if we are very wise, tell them how much we love them. There really is nothing like a mother's love.
After a long, cold and snowy winter you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief when the month of May finally arrives. You know once the calendar turns to May that warmer, dryer times are ahead. I took a few minutes to google 'May' and learned some interesting facts. One item stated that the month may have been named for a Greek Goddess 'Maia' who was the goddess of fertility. That was quite interesting since people often think of spring-time as a season for love and romance.
Volunteerism is an important part of our culture, heritage, and very existence. Without volunteers there are many institutions, programs, and services that would not exist. They are often the most under-thanked, unappreciated group of individuals. This week we have been observing National Volunteer Recognition Week.
This weekend another group of men and women from this area will be leaving family and friends to serve our country. They join thousands of others who, over the last several years, have spent months and even years in Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign countries. This deployment is no different than the many other responsibilities taken on by individual soldiers throughout the year. However when it comes about in a large group from one area, it gets our attention. It is a good time to stop and think about the sacrifices of all our soldiers and pray for a safe return for each of them.
For the last few days I have been taking care of my grandchildren. I watched my granddaughter all day Wednesday, and that evening met my son and his wife to pick up our grandson for a few days. I went from playing dolls and with dishes one day to baseball and football the next. It has been a busy and fun time. During the four days that my grandson has been at our home, we have had occasion to get them both together. This has started to become an interesting dilemma since my 19-month-old granddaughter, who we see several times a week, is not too happy to share her grandparents.
Quite often when I attend writing seminars, we are advised to try to avoid using cliches too often in our columns and articles. I find that this advice is sometimes difficult to follow and would like to share with you this story that proves the point. Cliches are like the plague -- apparently with us forever. It is time we did something about cliches. Take my word for it: we're being invaded by cliches. It's high time we stopped beating around the bush and responded to this invasion.
With the ceremonies this weekend and pending deployment of area National Guard members, it is an emotional time. The first deployment several years ago was something new for those going and those left behind. However, this time around, most know what to expect and what a long and fearful wait it will be. I have to believe that our troops know how much we care and that we will be thinking of them.
If you have been reading my column for the last eleven weeks you have learned a little more about life for young men and women during World War II. The letters I reprinted were written by my dad to my mother while he served more than two years during the war. I am certain the many struggles and concerns they faced at this time are very similar to those faced by thousands of soldiers during the war. My father passed away last winter and often during my visits with him I would try to talk about his experiences in the war.
Western Union Telegraph - Dec. 22, 1944 Camp Shanks, NY Mrs. Jacob Van Eps Hancock, Minn I am back in the U.S.A. and will be home soon. I am at New York at present. Love, Jacob March 13, 1945 Dear Jen, Just a few lines to let you now that I'm still okay. I guess I'm leaving here Friday and I plan on staying in denver over the weekend so I should be home about Thursday or Friday of next week. I was really surprised when they told me I was going to be discharged. I never had the slightest idea of it.
Italy September 5, 1944 Darling Jen, I met up with one of my buddies from Fort Sill in Rome sometime ago and visited with him. He expects to go home soon. I've been expecting that for so long but it never comes true. They started rotation in this outfit now but I don't know if it will do me much good. Today is an anniversary for me. It's just two years ago that I waved the Statue of Liberty goodbye and I hope and pray that I'll see it again before another year passes. The news sounds pretty good and I hope it ends up here pretty soon.