We had planned on spending the afternoon at the park, having a picnic and letting the Little Diva play in the splash pad...but the weather decided not to cooperate.
Sadly...this is the only picture I have to show for our Independence Day
The Little Diva wasn't very pleased with all the wind, but she managed to end up pretty content while my handsome husband and I ate our lunch as she had a sippy full of apple juice all to herself.
The weather kind of matched the mood of our day...
Our morning started with us trying to finalize plans...deciding whether or not we wanted brave the fireworks that night with a cranky 8 month old who would, undoubtedly, make it not so fun to be out that late waiting (her bedtime is usually between 6 and 7 at night and the fireworks didn't start until 9) We also were considering what would happen if the weather cleared up and if I, in all my third trimester of pregnancy glory, could handle sitting in the heat...the plans were decided...we'd definitely shoot for a picnic and bring stuff for the splash pad in case we felt weather was good enough, but after that the tone and the meaning of the day changed completely...
I was logged into Facebook, checking to see what friends were up to and I ran across a piece of news that stopped me on a dime...one friend dedicated their status to one of my husband's best friends in the whole world, who had apparently lost his life the day before fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan.
I shouted out a shocked, "WHAT?!" and Jeff, being a good husband, was intrigued...but I didn't know how to tell him...so I just told him.
He had been playing Call of Duty on Xbox, his controller dropped and he sat there for a minute and then came and took over my computer. He logged into his Facebook account to try to get to the bottom of what was going on...after a few minutes of disbelief I saw my sweet, strong husband cry for only the 3rd time ever.
I think we're still trying to make sense of everything.
Only a few days before his friend had been able to log into Facebook before being sent out on another mission and had left a status saying how much he loved and missed all of his friends and family and that he had hoped they were having a good day.
Only a few months ago, Jeff was talking about trying to get online with his friend to play on Xbox before he left for Afghanistan...I may not have ever had the pleasure of meeting my husband's friend in person, but he was a presence. He and Jeff kept in contact frequently, and it always seemed like they weren't living across the country from each other, like they'd only just seen one another...
My heart is a little sad because its hard to watch Jeff be sad. All day on Wednesday our conversation floated between normal every day life and this big giant elephant that I could tell was sitting on my husband's chest- his grief for his friend and his friend's family.... As we listened to the radio in the car, the kept saying "Happy 4th of July" and Jeff said, "You know, its called Independence Day for a reason." He talked about how just saying the day of the week doesn't do the sacrifice that our service men and women make on a daily basis justice.
I guess, for my little family, Independence Day took on a whole new meaning, and I hope I never forget it, I hope we never forget it...and I don't think we will. Private Cody Moosman, one of my husband's best friends in the whole world, gave his life while defending a patrol in Afghanistan on July 3, 2012...and because of his brave sacrifice, Independence Day will forever have a new meaning in my heart...I am somewhat ashamed to admit, that while I was fully aware of the sacrifices that the men and women in our military have made and continue to make on our behalf, until this year it has never had the impact that it should have. My dad was even in the National Guard and got a purple heart for goodness sake, and it still just hadn't sunk in. I've always been proud to be an American, but now Independence Day is about so much more than just being thankful for my free country...
There are so many who have given and continue to give so much to keep my family safe, to keep other people in other nations safe...I am in awe of the selflessness that goes into that kind of a sacrifice. My thoughts have been drifting back and forth between normal life and silent prayers for Cody's family, friends and the family and friends of other men and women that were wounded or killed in that fire fight that took Cody.
As my husband said on Wednesday," Freedom is not free, and no amount of money can replace the blood spilled to preserve it."
It is going to be my humble prayer that I can make sure that my children will know my husband's friend, and his sacrifice...and from now on, our Independence Day celebration will include a moment where we talk about the brave men and women who continue to fight and pay the price with their blood so that we can be free. That our day won't just be about mindless celebration, picnics and barbecues, but that we will have a time that is devoted to those amazing people who love their country, their family, and their friends enough that they are willing to give their lives if necessary to preserve their way of life and keep them safe.
Hugs and Loves until next time darlings.