As the holidays approach, much like giving thanks during Thanksgiving, a special time of the year where family gather around a table and share a traditional Thanksgiving, with all the trimmings, for Gold Star Mothers there’s an empty setting which is a reminder of our loss. We say grace, much like everyone else, except we embrace the somber reminder of our Heroes, our children and those young men and women who are in foreign countries in the midst of conflict. Men and women who unfortunately will not or have not had the opportunity of returning home, proudly sitting at the head of the table, carving a fresh turkey, scooping up the macaroni and cheese from a glass casserole dish or simply getting the first piece of sweet potato pie, a gathering ensued by laughter and sometimes family games. Nevertheless they’ve carried or carry out their mission and some return to base while others are stationed in faraway places, deserts surrounded by dirt with watchful eyes, sharing the special holiday with their comrades.
And then there is the most spectacular holiday of all. For me it’s Christmas, a time of the year where many celebrations are taking place referencing my belief and faith. There are various other religious occurrences and holidays that occur within the month of December where others celebrate as well, contingent upon their beliefs and faith. Either way we are all left with a memory, but a memory we are grateful to have. One that brings us back to those days where we were a part of the hustle and bustle, in and out of stores to purchase that special gift, that special one thing that your child asked for. We would even go as far as baking cookies for Santa Claus or purchasing candy canes for the tree. At times, families assembled in church giving thanks. Some created small towns, along with trains and train stations which encircled our Christmas trees, a reminder of the holiday celebration.
Our way now in this transitional phase of our lives, the “new normal” as proposed, we give back. We become part of Care Drives, some we develop ourselves, asking for donations of goods during the holiday season, providing that special something that would surely make our Heroes smile. You’ll often find us in huge rooms, with hundreds of boxes surrounding us and tables overflowing with goodies such as candy, cookies, toiletries, books, coloring books, crayons, Christmas cards, Santa Claus hats and stockings, numerous other items and we can’t forget the sweet treat of a candy cane, a reminder of why we’re there. Although our Heroes, who have sacrificed their lives, are not present and here with us, we know they are surely in the hearts and souls of us and their fellow comrades, and what better way to honor them than by providing their comrades with something special, reminding them they have not been forgotten. If we’re not in the middle of a care drive, look for us at cemeteries, where we are laying wreaths or placing flags by thousands upon thousands of soldiers headstones, honoring them for their dutiful service. If not there, we’re involved in various other events or assisting those veterans in hospitals, taking part in their celebrations, or sharing in school functions which cater to veterans children who have lost their mother or father to war.
I asked that you remember those brave soldiers during the holidays, those who have fought and continue to fight for freedom, who have given you the precious state of liberty. It is without doubt, our duty!
Gold Star Mother signing out, Hoorah! BY: HOPE HOLLINGWORTH