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A New Kind of Memorial Day

10407074_958337954195658_6287274909750001608_nThis is the first year that I’m celebrating Memorial Day from the other side.

In September 2013, I lost one of my childhood friends.

Jon and I both grew up as military brats. Our parents were stationed in Germany when we met. He was one of my two best friends in Kindergarten. But as with everyone in the military, we were too quickly torn apart as our families went their separate ways. And kids can be so fickle. While I never forgot Jon, as a 7-year-old, I went about my business making new friends in a new place.

Fast-forward 20 years, and this nifty new website called Facebook reunited Jon and I. We gushed over our new families, talked about our careers, and just caught up on all that happened. No, we were besties again, but we did reconnect and started keeping track of each other’s lives on Facebook.

And then on a random Monday in September, I posted on Facebook, asking for any prayer requests. Jon’s mother posted something about praying for Jon. I clicked over to her page to find out that Jon was currently MIA, lost at sea. By the next morning, “they” confirmed his death, though a body was never recovered.

I was heartbroken. Not so much for myself, though I would miss seeing him on Facebook. No, I was heartbroken for his mom, his dad, his brother (all of which were family friends, still are). I was heartbroken for his wife, his 2 beautiful kids. I couldn’t imagine what they were going through.

I was also heartbroken because I felt so helpless. I’m a “fixer” type. I see a problem, or someone in need, and I have to fix it. But there wasn’t anything I could do for Jon’s mom. I had never even met Jon’s family, what could I do for them?

I had only one option. To pray. I prayed for peace and strength for Jon’s family, that they would take comfort knowing that Jon was resting with the Lord.

Jon’s the first soldier I’ve actually known that died, but I’ve known many, many families that were effected by the loss of soldier.

So, today, enjoy the good food and the good company. But be reverent. The freedoms we enjoy came at a price. That price is continuously paid through the blood of the soldiers and the tears of the families.

God Bless America!

About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

One comment on “A New Kind of Memorial Day

  1. I am very sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story, Ralene.

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