Memorial Day 2006: A Soldier's Widow
Something for Memorial Day, something possibly about my husband or maybe his men..... maybe even about the day itself. However, I'm not sure how to write about Memorial day.
I know what Memorial Day is for; I know what we are remembering. However, this is my life. Everyday is Memorial Day for me. You see, I am a war widow, though I still have a very difficult time using the word widow. My husband, SFC David J. Salie, was killed in Iraq last year. February 14 is supposed to be the day meant for love. We buy flowers, chocolates, cards to celebrate this day, but it will always be the day that I lost the love of my life, the person that was supposed to hold my hand when I died... and yet he died on a street, in a country light years away from me.
David was on a patrol to get familiar with where he was, he had only been in Iraq for four days. His was the fourth Humvee in the convoy when an insurgent clicked a button on a remote that would shatter my world, the world of my children. I had spent the day buying my children little things for Valentine's Day, like I had every year. That year the day ended much differently than most, I opened a door around 9:15 that night only to be told that my David was gone forever.
I look around and realize what an influence David still has on me. Honestly, this is David's house we’re living in! I always wanted an old country home, a fixer upper.... David was the one that wanted a new house with all the bells and whistles. I now own a four bedroom, four-bath home that was built 4 years ago. The only thing I didn't get that David wanted was a log cabin -- I've often wondered if one had been on the market if I would have bought it? LOL. But David's not here to share it with me, with us.
I still own David's truck and will probably own it until the day I die. David loved that truck and so I love that truck. It will probably become a planter in my front yard before I ever get rid of it. David always wanted an "I love me" room -- a room that he could put all his plaques on the walls and such. I've turned the computer room into that room for him. Our computer room has turned into David's “I love me” room... our "we love him" room. It's amazing how much of an influence David still has on me.
We're having a few people over, mainly family, for Memorial Day. Though I'm sure everyone that comes to my house will think of David, they will also be thinking of all the others that have lost their lives and/or the people that have come home with a permanent limp or without some body part. I'm sure they will think of the ones that have come home from other conflicts. I, however, think of them everyday. I think about all the men and women that will never be the same because of what they've seen and what they've had to do while at war.
Memorial Day is every day for a woman like me, a family like mine. We live it, we breath it, we are it. I think of David's soldiers all the time, they know it. They know that no matter where they go or what they do, they will always be "David's men" and I will always think of them, be here for them, love them.
I hope that people will not only remember our soldiers, but also remember their families. Remember the spouses that are now raising children on their own; remember the parents that will never see their child again; the soldiers who have lost fellow soldiers; the families that are still living with a military member who will live another day in the life that they love so much.
In closing I ask that while you are there having that BBQ, drinking that beer or swimming in that pool: take a moment to remember all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Remember their families -- they, too, pay the price. Even though they pay the price willingly and most just as adamantly as their military member, they still pay it. When the "thank yous" are handed out, they are the ones that are least likely to get one. Please take the time to thank them, let them know that you remember their sacrifice. Tell a military child that you appreciate what their parent has given our country, for they are the smallest yet sometimes (I think) they are the most affected, but least remembered. The littlest heroes. They surely are the ones that pay a very high price indeed.
Deanna "Deedy" Salie