Memorial Day

I love my big/little small town.

As usual, it’s the small group of people that keep things going. Kind of like the heart that keeps beating… and shows the love.

We sure do know how to do the small town USA parade. It kicked off with the veterans, a small group of men who still walk with pride, followed by some patriotically dressed women. The greatest generation is getting smaller, and we owe so much to them.

They were followed by the politicians. I personally know and love two of them, Jodi Giglio and Catherine Kent. Politicians are known for kissing babies, but I also always get great hugs from them, and am so glad we’ve got these two big hearted women looking out for all of us.

The Riverhead High School NJROTC unit followed, and they are so impressive. I wish more kids took part in this unit. The experiences Madison has had have been amazing. Trips to colleges, competitions, education… all under the leadership of two amazing men. The sky is the limit with this organization, and the kids are better for it.

The marching band came next, and everyone loves a good band. The teacher leading them yesterday is one of the most passionate and talented teachers we have. The kids looked and sounded great.

Then we had all of the fire trucks and ambulances, all volunteers. These men and women are ready at a moments notice to help those in need. God bless every one of them.

The parade stopped several times to honor those who gave their lives. Garfield Longhorne in particular was bittersweet, as his mother recently passed at the age of 92. He received the Medal of Honor after giving his life by throwing himself over a grenade to save his friends during the Vietnam war. A true hero.

A funny story at the end of the parade made me laugh and was typical for me. I was videotaping the ceremony for my mom who was watching at home. Beaming with pride, I did a big circle and noticed my sister and about seven or eight other police officers standing and watching me. I smiled and waved and thought “How nice! I love our cops…”.

After a moment, I shut off my video and walked over to them to give hugs, and even get a selfie. My sister and another dear friend were like, “Geez Keri, could you have BEEN any closer to the guy with the eight inch knife on his belt???” Apparently they were watching him closely when suddenly I walked right next to him for a good spot to tape, smiling and waving. As if their awareness wasn’t high enough, here I come with my USA scarf and patriotic outfit, standing right next to the sketchy looking guy who thought it would be a good idea to walk around a parade with a huge knife sheathed in a case on his belt.

I told my sister and other friend that I recently had a shaman drag a bigger knife over my body, and I face death everyday, so it takes more than that to scare me. Plus, they all had my back, and we have the greatest police department full of amazing men and women. I love our police.

I then drove Madison and some of her NJROTC friends to another ceremony. It was at a retirement community and was so very sweet.

This event was run by one man who reminded me so much of my Poppa. My pop loved marching in Memorial Day parades as a veteran of WWII, and I felt close to him while watching the veterans stand behind Madison as she led the color guard. Poppa would be so proud.

By the time I came home I was pretty exhausted. I didn’t sleep much last night, as scanxiety is starting to build.

I’m off today, because we had an unused snow day. I’m heading to he Giving Room for ten o’clock class, and Paula has a cellist coming to play as we breathe and stretch. She also is giving out free smoothies in honor of Memorial Day.

Then I’ll come home and catch up on all the things I couldn’t do yesterday.

I’ve got a busy week coming up, with our kindergarten play, Madison’s NJROTC awards night, her academic awards night, Quinn’s tennis, and Morgan’s NYYSMA.

The following week is a hospital week for me, then the next week after that is the scan.

So today, I’ll breathe and listen to a cello play while visualizing clean scans.

May it be so.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



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