Our beautiful grand-daughter has arrived!

Our beautiful grand-daughter has arrived!

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Our world was truly blessed yesterday …our beautiful granddaughter arrived!  She is perfect in every way!  She has stolen mine and my husband’s heart who are so proud to be her nana and gramps!  She weighed 7 lbs and 10 oz and 18 1/2 in long. So beautiful!
Hubby and I are still taking it in that now we are actually grandparents, lol.  It was such a powerful moment that first time holding her, I have never felt instant love like that!  It was an amazing feeling!  My heart belongs to Ellie now. 🙂

We followed her to the nursery when they took her down.  So neat watching them do her feet prints.  She was screaming but soon found her thumb/fist to comfort herself.  That just tickled us, we could have watched for her hours.   She is going to bring so much joy to our lives!

I know Amanda and Eric are going to be fantastic parents!!  They made us the most beautiful baby girl to love! Ellie will have 6 grandparents, a great grandma and great grandpa, and nonnie (great grandma) plus 3 aunts, an uncle, tons of great aunts and uncles, and a multitude of cousins who will all spoil her with so much love.  I know that Amanda and Eric will be wonderful parents in sharing their baby girl with so many.  (A child can never have too much love!).  We did think of Great- Gramps in Heaven when we met her …. We know he met her first and blessed her.  He will always be watching over her!

I am taking Ellie’s Nonnie to the hospital today to see her. I can’t wait to see them together.  Heck I can’t wait to see that baby girl, been staring at her pix for hours!!  I will be visiting twice today, lol, told hubby I will go with him aft work too, lol.  Truly our world is brighter now with her arrival!  Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts!

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Becoming a Nana after having the best grandma

Becoming a Nana after having the best grandma

In just a few weeks or basically any day now we will be grandparents for the first time!  I can’t express the emotions I am feeling of happiness waiting to meet her.  I can’t wait to see our son holding her … I know there will be lots of happy tears that day!!! 
I am lucky as a woman who wasn’t able to have children that I have stepkids to make me a nana.  The journey of infertility was a difficult road.  It took years to make peace with the fact.  Now I am past that point of wanting a baby at my age, lol.   Instead its such an incredible feeling to know there will be a grandbaby soon that we get to spoil!  Best part we get to take her home after spoiling her rotten.  🙂

Until the day our son got married, I had no desire to be a grandparent.  By the reception, I told his mom that by next year we would be grandmas,  it was obvious the love Eric & Amanda had for each other. I knew it was just a matter of time there would be a baby to show from that love.  I was right, lol.  Did I mention I also guessed she was pregnant before we were told?? 

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I had a wonderful role model on how to be a grandma.  I grew up loved so much by my mamaw Frances.  My maternal grandma died when I was four.  My mamaw is who comforted me during my grandma Bertha’s funeral.  That bonded me to her forever that my earliest sad moment she was there for me.  She would always tell me she was giving me extra love for grandma too. 

I seen my paternal grandparents at least four to six times a week.  They just lived a few acres behind us.  I was always called lil’ Frances for being so much like her.  I was the middle grandchild per se … I had 14 older cousins and 14 younger cousins but she’d make me feel like I was the only one when spending time with her.  She had that way to make you feel so special!  She didn’t have money to buy you gifts but you knew you were loved by her attention and time spent with you.

 
My mamaw would let me cook chocolate pudding and make no bake cheesecakes for my papaw.  She taught me how to sew and make quilts. (Sad to say I don’t do those things now.) I hated though when she’d make me slop the pig.  She apparently realized my moaning was not worth it and found me another chore, lol.  I would help her pick strawberries ….she would never yell when I would eat most of them. 

I have to be honest that I did learn a few bad habits from her too.  But my mamaw did the best she knew to be a wonderful grandmother to us.  She loved her family so much!  I also remember her giving me THE TALK as a teenager, too funny to hear my lil 4’11 grandma discuss such private matters.  Every Friday night I was at her house to watch Dallas.  I truly loved spending time at my grandparent’s home!

She fed us amazing meals.  My mamaw’s breakfasts rocked … Biscuits & gravy, fried apples, sausage patties, over medium eggs, and also had pork chops or bacon.  I don’t consider it a true breakfast unless you have all of these items, lol.  She made the most delicious fried apples pies and would sneak me an extra to take home.  (I was a picky eater and she knew this was my fav dish of hers.)  You never left her house hungry!

grandma and grandpa
I got my love of genealogy from her.  I promised her I would write a book about our family someday.  (I need to get on that project!)  I have inherited her love of flowers too.  My biggest regret is I didn’t have her teach me about flowers.  I was too busy growing up.
When I moved away, we’d talk for hours on the phone.  She loved my husband and kids and was so excited when we came to KY to visit.  She died when I was twenty-six and I still miss her tremendously.  She was a huge part of my childhood.  I wouldn’t trade those memories for gold!  I was truly blessed to grow up with a close relationship with my mamaw.

 
When Jessica Andrews released this song it reminded me of my life.  I grew up knowing I was a very loved child in a large part because I am ‘Frances’s granddaughter, spitting image of my father, and my momma is still my biggest fan.’
I pray I can show my grand daughter that same love ….

Jessica Andrews … Who I am Video (Rosemary’s Granddaughter)

 

So when Ellie makes her arrival this Nana is prepared to love her to pieces!  I look forward to our days together.  I know that she and I are going to have so much fun as she experiences life.  I know that both of my grandmas will be watching us.  I  hope I can make them proud on being an awesome nana!

 

To Ellie … Nana can’t wait to meet you 🙂

I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new 
And now this wisdom of my life 
I’m blessed to share with you 
Let kindness spread like sunshine 
Embrace those who are sad 
Respect their dignity, give them joy 
And leave them feeling glad 
Forgive those who might hurt you 
And though you have your pride 
Listen closely to their viewpoint 
Try to see the other side 
Walk softly when you’re angry 
Try not to take offense 
Invoke your sense of humor 
Laughter’s power is immense! 
Express what you are feeling 
Your beliefs you should uphold 
Don’t shy away from what is right 
Be courageous and be bold 
Keep hope right in your pocket 
It will guide you day by day 
Take it out when it is needed 
When it’s near, you’ll find a way 
Remember friends and family 
Of which you are a precious part 
Love deeply and love truly 
Give freely from your heart 
The world is far from perfect 
There’s conflict and there’s strife 
But you still can make a difference 
By how you live your life 
And so I’m very blessed to know 
The wonders you will do 
Because you are my granddaughter 
And I believe in you.

~ Becky Netherland for The Bradford Group, 2008

 

grandma as a kidMy grandma with her dad …

 

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Build Baby Ellie’s Library baby shower

Build Baby Ellie’s Library baby shower

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On Saturday I hosted our family’s baby shower for my daughter in law.   She was having three showers so decided to go with a book theme with mine.  I had a mom who read to me every day so I know how books bonds parents.   Plus books will give her the world to see too as she reads them.    So everyone brought a book with their gift instead of buying a card.  Believe it or not out of 25 plus books she didn’t receive any duplicates.

 

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The cutest invitations ever made by a niece … thanks Eileen!! You rocked!

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I did not take any pictures of the food once all the desserts were there from my sister in laws.  I also didn’t take any pix of the table decorations.  I got busy and just completely forgot to take pix.  I did take pix of her opening gifts.  There were several people who sent gifts that were not there.  So I put those pix on FB so those who sent a gift seen her enjoying it.

I do a blog on Pinterest so you know there were a few details from it.  I did omit a few things from my original to do list.  I got busy and was then smart about what I could and couldn’t do.  (truly helped on not stressing too!)  I had planned on doing lil book signs for food and do regret I didn’t find time for them.

There is a HUGE difference on hosting a party at a different location.  I have hosted Christmas a few times with 25 plus people.  However when you have to carry everything you really change your game plan.  I have some beautiful crystal bowls but the thought of carrying them led to using mostly Dollar Tree serving ware.   I would have found some cute dishes to put the silverware in but using plastic cups was more sensible.  I still had 4 bins of stuff and coolers even after downsizing twice.

I had a few a mishaps … cake was not done to specifications.  I should have made a few more side dishes.  I forgot to make the coffee and left the other waters in hubby’s car.  Other than that it went really well.  We had a great turnout with E  & A getting some fabulous gifts!   While we were at the shower, the men in our family met up for drinks to celebrate Eric becoming a dad.   It was a great afternoon and so thankful that we could do it for them!

 

 

 

last name goneThe gift table’s decorations:  I put a copy of her sonogram in a frame.  I spray painted a basket pink for cards and made a thank you sign for it.  (Mom is using basket for books now.)  The frame with her name, I made for her nursery.  I then laid out a pink flower garland to finish the gift table.

 

 

Hungry board

I made this storyboard of Hungry Caterpillar of Ellie growing as her mom had done the veg/fruit size each 2 weeks.  I also changed the last name of the author to our name as he shares same first name as son.  I then added mom’s name as author too.  Just thought it was a cute way to show Amanda’s last 8 months … this was my idea and not a pinterest item 🙂

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I did an activity table instead of playing games.

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label

I also made labels for the books brought to the shower … I had one I threw away so overlook the bended label since I forgot to take a pix of them.

20130818_7All the desserts hadn’t arrived yet …we had 7 different ones.  Taking home a container of desserts was one of the favors for the guests. 🙂

cookies

One sister in law brought these adorable cookies!!  They were delicious!

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A few diaper cakes with books to go with theme.  Mom then can use books and diapers after shower.

d cakeI made this one to hold one of the favors … bookmarkers for guests to take home.   The book topper has Ellie’s name.  🙂

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favors

Another favor was gummy worms (Albenese of course!) with note saying “Thank you for making Ellie a bookworm.”

gummy worms

Lil details I added that I took a pix since I didn’t take many:

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Yeah I even added stickers to the salt and pepper, lol.

ice

Ice Bucket

cups

I made a few these for silverware.

cake

The cake was a disaster!  First of all it was supposed to be yellow icing to match the invite.  Then look at the writing. 🙁

But it was worse thing that happened that day and we were okay. 🙂

table

The books “Where is Ellie” and “Ellie’s Tea Party” have Ellie as an Elephant.  So went with the Pink Safari theme at Party City for decorations and paper goods.

part of tableAdded a pink box to use as a riser for the (horrible) cake.  I also decorated the trifle bowl that had the Cotton Candy Salad in it.

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Beautiful blanket that Eric’s aunt Linda made for Ellie ….

corsage

The florist did a great job on her corsage … it was beautiful!

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The beautiful DIL and beautiful DSD … so blessed to have them both in my life and can’t wait until Ellie joins them!

Thanks for all your help Liz on setting up!!!!!!!!

Thanks to all my friends and family that put up with my endless texts of pix for the shower too!!  I so appreciate the time!!!!!

Now how many days is it until Ellie arrives? 🙂

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Jaimie and Justin’s Wedding

Jaimie and Justin’s Wedding

Last weekend we traveled to Woodburn/Bowling Green, KY for my niece’s wedding.  We also went to Nashville for three days.  Then this past Saturday I had our DIL’s baby shower.  So it has been a crazy and exciting time. Lots to blog about this week!

I will start with Jaimie’s wedding.  Lil background info:  I am the oldest of two kids to my parents.  However when I was four my aunt Donna came to live with us.  She quickly became my sister and to this day love her as much as I do my brother.   Funny thing when I started school, they called my mom in for a meeting because I kept talking about a sister.  My school records reflected I was an only child at the time so there was concern for my mental well being. (too funny!!)   My mom had to explain the situation after having a good laugh.  So I have a brother and a sister ….

 

So back to Jaimie and Justin’s wedding.  As someone who blogs about Pinterest, I can’t tell you how proud I was to see all the Pinterest Items!  She nailed the small details!  It was such a beautiful ceremony!

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Justin was blindfolded prior to the ceremony so they could pray together before they

were married.  How sweet is that!!

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Jaimie’s friends held up this sign to Justin before she walked down the isle.  His face was too cute!

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I believe the mixing of the sand to symbolize coming together as one while Brooklyn sang a beautiful wedding song was my fav part.

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The bride and groom were both gorgeous! 

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So many cute details:

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They had pix  hanging on the pews … loved this detail!!

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The Bride and Groom dancing as Brooklyn Woods sings …

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You can tell Justin is from KY with his groom’s cake …

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Picture taking ideas on the card for guests …..

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Treat Bags:

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I will be shot for putting this pix on here but couldn’t resist … my parents and aunt Karen

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It was such a beautiful ceremony and so thankful that Andrew and I got to be there for their big day! So proud of both of them as they just graduated college in May too.  They are both working on their master programs now.   CONGRATS JAIMIE AND JUSTIN!!!  WE LOVE YOU!

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My wonderful father in law …

My wonderful father in law …

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On July 20th our world forever changed as my wonderful  father in-law went to Heaven.  He was 93 and the last of his family to arrive there of nine children.  George Curosh was born on March 2, 1920 in Whiting, Indiana to John and Mary (Pihulic) Curosh.  

His own father had passed away when he was four in 1925.  So in my mind that day all I could see was him running as a child towards his parent’s open arms. He was reunited with his parents and siblings in such glorious happiness.   We know he is happy with them and we’ll see him again but that doesn’t stop the missing him here.  My husband and his siblings will forever be heartbroken until they see their dad again.  He was the kind of man that will be missed forever by his family!

 

honeymoon

George and Jane on their honeymoon in 1949

We know that we were VERY blessed that my MIL was able to care for him at home until his final breath.   She was such a pillar of strength that day to all of us when we know her heart was hurting too.   She had been by his side for 63 1/2 years and cared for him with such love.  She never complained that her life had become him each day.  She did what she had to do and battled on.  She has angel wings waiting just for that in my opinion!   She is the epitome of the best wife and mother!   I can’t imagine how much she misses her husband.  I can’t fathom just the daily reminders that he isn’t there with her.   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

 

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 He was a proud WWII, US Army Veteran attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant and had served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre in China, Burma and India.

My FIL was a rare breed of fine qualities and so handsome!  I will never forget the first time I met him.  I told Andrew, my now husband, that I would marry him if he was going to age like his dad. 🙂 He had that beautiful thick white hair and a smile that lit up a room.  He was 72 then.  He was always so kind in asking me about work, my parents, and my life.  I am a chatterbox and so it meant a lot he’d let me ramble on.   I would tease though that I was sure he didn’t have his hearing aid in to let me go on and on.   He just always made me feel like a part of his family from day one.   I will forever miss my hugs from him.  I know he knew I loved him but he didn’t know how proud I was to be his daughter in-law.

 

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 His 1939 yearbook picture … it said that George was as subtle as the B in subtle.  🙂

 My husband’s father wasn’t a millionaire, didn’t invent the wheel, or do anything famous but he was one of the most loved and respected men. (especially by his family!)  He served our country in WWII.  He came home to be a contributing member of his community.   He worked hard to support his family.   He taught his children morals of always being there for each other, being fair, doing your part, helping those in need,  going to church, exercising, to get an education, and respecting your country and flag.   ( Soon after he died my husband went and hung his dad’s flag on the porch.  He came home and hung ours too as did siblings.  It was only fitting to do so!)

 

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This was a picture from him in flight school before WWII … he still had the yearbook.   So handsome!

 I have always been proud to be a member of this family.  However that week I was even more proud as his family came together to celebrate his dad’s life.  Eight siblings, their mom, and their families truly went through this together.  At the wake it was incredible seeing all the children, mom, and some of the grandchildren form this line to greet all the many people who came to pay their respects to the family.   A co-worker of my husband put it perfectly … if Norman Rockwell was going to do a painting of a celebration of life it would have been the wake of his dad.   It was such a honor as a DIL to see his dad get the send off he so richly deserved by the community, the Knights of Columbus, the military,  and the church.  I have never witnessed a true celebration of life that was lived well as I did with my FIL.

 

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 Just a few of us at our son’s wedding 🙂

My father in law and mother in law have a legacy to leave behind of their 63 1/2 years together …. eight kids (my hubby is the baby).  There are also two son in laws and four daughter in-laws.  There are 20 grand-children (plus 6 spouses), 11 great grand-children, with two more great grand-children on the way.  That is 51 to continue on their legacy with two more on the way.   It was amazing watching all of us grieving and celebrating his life together.   It’s truly a testament of their love and marriage too that all their family was there for each other.

We found out something we didn’t know about his dad.  He was an Abraham Lincoln fourth degree member of Knights of Columbus.  My upcoming post will talk about our love for Abe so this amused us.  He was a 73 year member of the Knights.

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I’m just so thankful for the memories that we have to comfort us now.  He was such an amazing gramps to all his grandkids.  He attended as many sporting events and school events as he could for each one.  He was proud of everyone of them!

 He loved the Whiting Oilers and was such a devoted fan.  One of my family’s favorite moments is when our daughter’s softball team won Indiana STATE and undefeated at that!  He was as excited as she was to have won state for the Whiting Oilers.   He had traveled the almost three hour drive and sat in the rain to see this momentous occasion.  He was 86 then and still attending as many Oilers games as possible.  (His beloved Chicago White Sox had won the World Series the year before too.)

 

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Andrew, Liz, and Dad at Indiana State Championship (she won a scholarship for Whiting HS that day too)

Another favorite memory is being there when he rode in a plane like those when he was a radio controller in the war!  It was phenomenal to see some of his sons, a nephew, and some grandsons share that experience with him.  He was 89 then!

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I am so glad he got to be at our son’s wedding in October at the age of 92.  I know that is a memory he’ll cherish forever.   When we meet our grand-daughter next month we know Gramps will have met her first and blessed her.  He was so happy for Eric and Amanda on the upcoming arrival of Ellie.  I hurt for our daughter on Gramps not being here when she has those experiences.  However when she walks down the aisle she’ll know she comes from stock that lasted 63 1/2 years for better or worse, sickness and health, and death do us part.  Plus she has a memory like no other of making Gramps so happy with that state championship for the Oilers.  She and her brother will always know they are loved by their family because of  how he raised his family to be with each other.  I look forward to seeing my husband become a gramps and strive to be like his dad.

 

family This family picture is worth gold now!  (look how handsome at 92 he was too!!)

Gramps had a saying that will live on forever in our family … “Give ’em hell”.  It meant to give it your all!   In his memory we will carry on and give life hell.   Anytime we smell a cigar we will smile and think of the many happy moments he had on the front porch smoking one.  Every spring when we see tulips bloom we will think of the many tulips he grew in the front flower bed.  As we see wonderment in Ellie’s eyes we will think of him with his parents and siblings enjoying Heaven.  My husband and his siblings will never get over losing him but they know he lives on in each of their children, (future) grand-children and themselves.

George Curosh the world was truly a better place because you had been here!!  Thank you for my wonderful husband & kids and the legacy you have left behind in them!  Thank you for being YOU!

From his obituary:
George Curosh was born on March 2, 1920 in Whiting, Indiana to John and Mary (Pihulic) Curosh. He was a lifelong resident and a graduate of Whiting High School, Class of 1939. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whiting where he had served as an usher for many years. George was a proud WWII, US Army Veteran attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant and had served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre in China, Burma and India. He was a member of the American Legion, Whiting Post 80 (memorial service Tuesday at 6:00pm). He was a 73 year member of the Knights of Columbus, Pope John XXIII Council 1696 (prayers Tuesday at 7:00pm) and was a member of the Fourth Degree Abraham Lincoln General Assembly. George was a past president of the Whiting Little League and was a member of the Fire Merit Board. He was a retiree of the Standard Oil (BP Amoco) Whiting Refinery with a service of 40 years.  George was an avid Whiting High School and Chicago White Sox Fan. He was proud to have lived long enough to watch his granddaughter’s WHS softball team win the State Championship and the White Sox win the World Series!  We are blessed to have had the best husband, dad and gramps in the world! In lieu of flowers, memorials to the St. John School Endowment Fund would be appreciated.  Gramps, like you always told us, “Give ‘em hell!”

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Dad wearing his favorite Oilers hat 🙂

 

A Facebook friend posted this song last week and just so fitting ….beautiful song called Dancing in the Sky!  I know he is dancing in the sky and playing like a kid with his siblings! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNoLJy68ZcE

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Our Freedoms come with a price …

Our Freedoms come with a price …

I hope everyone is enjoying our country’s 237th birthday!  I am so proud to be a free American!  I am forever grateful to all those soldiers from revolutionary war to present day for me to have my freedoms! 

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I have grown up in a family of brave souls who served our country.  My dad’s mother’s maternal (3x) great grandfather served in the revolutionary war.  This would be my fifth back great grandfather.  (Henry Harry, Henry Halen, Enos, Gilbert, Jeannie) Distant cousins erected a stone to remember him.  That was such a sweet gesture so he will never be forgotten!   This is a great article on the revolutionary families in Yancey, NC including Henry Harry Hensley. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncyancey/revolutionarywarfamilies.htm  (This picture belongs to Mike Shelton.)

My maternal papaw served in WWII in the Marines.  Several of my uncles served with a few fighting in Vietnam. I have quite a few cousins on both sides who have served.   Several cousins have also served their entire career for our country.  My cousin Jennifer will be in the Air Force soon and I’m so proud of her! My uncle Joe makes me so proud every day for the work he continues to do with veterans!  My father in law also served in WWII! I am just so proud to be related to them all!

I am so glad all my loved ones have came home from their service alive.  However that does not mean they came home unscarred for life.  We send young men and women to see and do unspeakable things during wars.  So just because we don’t see physical pain does not mean there isn’t mental anguish.   I couldn’t fathom just the horrible nightmares they must experience not counting flashbacks.  Several cousins have PTSD and struggle daily.  
Recently I had called an uncle who is a veteran and he was crying.  He had just gotten the call his friend who was also a vet had committed suicide.  My uncle explained that demons from Vietnam war had haunted his friend for over forty years.   He never could forget …. We don’t see that part of war but soldiers how can they escape those thoughts without help?  Forty plus years later and he couldn’t take the pain any longer.   
This was when I first heard of how many veterans commit suicide daily.  Then recently my cousin found the courage to admit he struggles daily.  We are so proud he is getting help to deal with the  effects of his service.  His mantra is that 22 veterans kill themselves daily and for them he wants to live.  So because of him I am writing this post to educate others.  This isn’t a political post but just pointing out a startling fact.

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We take our freedoms for granted …. We forget those that must kill or be killed in war.  They didn’t join or be drafted to be haunted forever of seeing death surrounding them.  So many soldiers endure years and years of mental torture from doing what their country asked of them.

Great article on the startling fact that 22 veterans commit suicide daily!!  http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/02/05/22-the-number-of-veterans-who-now-commit-suicide-every-day/

As most Americans enjoy fireworks today there will be veterans who will cringe, cry, have flashbacks, and/or nightmares from those sounds.  So be sure to thank our veterans for all they have given up for us!  Always remember just because we don’t see physical effects from war does not mean the mental pain isn’t crushing a veteran … 22 veterans will die each day from that pain!  What can we do as a grateful country to get this number lowered???  Our veterans deserve the best mental health available to have a shot of a normal life after war!

 

Thank you to all current military and veterans that have kept our freedoms intact and our country safe!

We owe you everything!

 

Freedom is the last, best hope of earth. ”— Abraham Lincoln

 

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