Old Glory

Monday, April 30, 2012

No more blue stars turning to gold

It's my prayer and hope that there are no more losses of our trops, but I'm not nieve enough to think that is reality.  There are no real words for how my heart feels and most likely never will be, but I can at least say that although this horrible thing has happened, I have been blessed with an amazing family and friends to help get through this (if that's even possible). 
No parent should ever have to bury their children.  I can tell you first hand, it's the absolutely worst pain you can ever feel.  Knowing he is in a better place and not suffering or being shot at every day is a good feeling, but that is always over-shadowed by the pain and sadness that comes from knowing I will never see him, touch him, help him, smell his smell, or ever see his children on this earth again.  It's heartbreaking and at times it feels like it will actually kill me physically.
I struggled yesterday missing him terribly especially when sitting on the deck listening to the country music station and Allen Jackson's song "Wanted" started playing.  I immediately started to cry.  I couldn't hold them back even if I tried.  I sent my sister a text and told her it was playing and she said "And I have my Mt. Dew t-shirt on!" (one of Chad's favorite t-shirts for those that may not know).  Of course, I cried even harder after reading that.
Today I was just digging around online and found a video that my sister made that apparently if I knew it was out there I had forgotten.  It was so sweet and while it made me cry (of course), it also reminded me that I am lucky to have the support system I do and to have a family that loved Chad so much.  I know they miss him too and I know they feel like they lost a part of me too when he died (and they did), but knowing they are there for me helps me get out of bed every day.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNtPZs2KPFg&feature=related
There are many days I don't want to get up, but I don't have a choice.  I have to go on and still help take care of my family, but some days are so much harder than others and I suppose that will remain the case for the rest of my days on this earth.
So much has happened in our family since Chad left this earth and I know it would be so hard for him to see what some of us have had to go through.  I was worried about that one day and I don't know how many other Gold Star parents (or any parent that lost a child) feel this way, but I wondered.... does he see us struggling, does he know the mistakes we make, does he see us upset?  I finally had to ask a pastor friend, because I was so burdened by things he might be seeing down here (you know how people always say, oh he is looking down from heaven).  Well, I never thought about it until this pastor friend told me that the answer to that question was no, because that would be hell.  I had never thought about it like that before, but it made perfect sense when he verbalized that to me.  I don't worry about him seeing things on this earth that might hurt him or upset him anymore.  Now I just thank God for little things that give me a little imaginary hug when I need them most, like rainbows, orange butterflies, hearing Allen Jackson's song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa9w5VFfhao&ob=av2e, etc.  That does give me a small amount of comfort when those little things happen and even more comfort knowing he can't actually see what is going on down here on earth. 
I know certain things about Chad that others may or may not know and one thing I do know is he would never want his wife so live a sad and lonely life the rest of her life.  He would want her to find love and happiness again and live a full life.  I know he doesn't want to see his family going through so much grief or his friends struggling so much from missing him or feeling guilty that it was him and not them.  I know Chad, he would never want that.  He would not want any of us to have any regrets or to stay in a sad place.  I just know that would never be his heart.  Therefore, I do believe what my pastor friend said to me, because I know that would make Chad sad and he doesn't want us to be sad. 
I hope that every parent that has had the unfortunate experience of losing a child believes that their child would never want them to stay in state of sadness or feel guilty.  Those children love us and the way we would hope that our children would go on with their lives and find a way to be happy, that's what I believe they want from us.  They understand we will be sad and miss them (they expect that), but they would never want us to stop living life and finding happiness when we can.  That would make them feel so bad. 
I hate not having my baby boy on this earth more than I ever thought I could, but it was God's plan to take him when he did and to spare the lives he spared.  Some days are easier than others to see that, but I do know that Chad would never want his family, wife, and friends to live the rest of their lives like that.  He would want us to all live, love, laugh, and be happy.  I know this as his momma bear. 
My double rainbow

My orange butterfly... stayed by my side all afternoon while working in the yard :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Thirty-One Fundraiser!

We have so many amazing people helping us raise money for this very worthy cause.  Here is another option for Mother’s Day gifts, birthday gifts, or just a little something nice for yourself.   Kim Brow is hosting a fundraiser through her Thirty-One business (www.mythirtyone.com/kimbrow31). Right now during April for every $31 you spend, you can get any purse in the catalog for 1/2 price (This sale is only through April so hurry!).  For every $31 spent in May, you can purchase the All-In-One Organizer for just $5 (that’s a great deal). 
So here is how this will work and what you need to do.  During April & May, Kim will donate 25% of her total commission to Wings for Our Troops “in loving memory of CPL Chad S Wade”.  Mother’s Day is coming up May 13th so the timing is great!  Here is what you do…  Go to www.mythirtyone.com/kimbrow31 and once you are there go to “my events” and look for the Wings for Our Troops Fundraiser and order from there.  Again, 25% of her commission from orders made from that link will go directly to this foundation to help a Marine get home to his/her family before and/or after deployment.  These young men and women deserve so much more, but this is a great way to show them how much we truly appreciate their service and sacrifices!  Happy shopping!
April Special - Spend $31 and get any purse 1/2 off (April Only)

May Special - Spend $31 and get the All-In-One Organizer for $5 (May only)

25% of all purchases made under "my event" and Wings for Our Troops fundraiser will go to the foundation!  Thank you Kim Brow!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wings for Our Troops Fundraiser via Mary Kay

Mother's Day is coming up and summer will be here before you know so there will be needs for "new" colors for summer so what better way to get what you need and help a Marine get home before or after deployment than purchasing through this fundraiser!  A close friend of mine and her daughter, Darci & Brandi Harris, are donating 30% of all subtotals on orders (for all items) now through May 11, 2012.  That's right folks, 30% of your subtotal on any purchase through them will be donated to Wings for Our Troops "in loving memory of CPL Chad S Wade".
Here is what you need to know.  If you would like to purchase something you can go to http://www.marykay.com/ and pick your items and then email Darci at harrisfamily05@att.net and give her your item numbers and how you would like to pay for it.  If you would like to send her a check just let her know that in your emailed order and she will email you her mailing address.  If you prefer to pay through Pay Pal you can go to http://www.paypal.com/ and enter her email address harrisfamily05@att.net and that should get you where you need to go.  Obviously, should you have any problems, just send Darci an email and she will help you out.
This is a great way to take care of yourself or your moms and still support our Troops!  What an awesome way to do both.  Thank you in advance to all who have already participated and those of you that will.  You have just made the day of a Marine and his/her families!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Not my normal kind of post...

This isn't my normal post, but I was sent this from my bestie today and it struck something in me, more for Chad's buddies that might be struggling (or any person in the military past or present) with either survivor's guilt, PTSD, or just with what you had to witness as well as the families that are potentially dealing with the loss of a child, spouse, or best friend at the hands of this war.  For me, I needed to hear this and I hope it doesn't offend anyone, but rather gives some comfort and food for thought.  It's not too lengthy so I encourage you to read it if you just need some encouragement and perspective on things.  I know for me it won't take away what I am feeling, but I do believe it will help me understand that like all of you, I'm not in this alone.
Week of April 20
Thirsty on the Cross
by Max Lucado

Jesus’ final act on earth was intended to win your trust.
This is the final act of Jesus’ life. In the concluding measure of his earthly composition, we hear the sounds of a thirsty man.
And through his thirst—through a sponge and a jar of cheap wine—he leaves a final appeal.
“You can trust me.”
Jesus. Lips cracked and mouth of cotton. Throat so dry he couldn’t swallow, and voice so hoarse he could scarcely speak. He is thirsty. To find the last time moisture touched these lips you need to rewind a dozen hours to the meal in the upper room. Since tasting that cup of wine, Jesus has been beaten, spat upon, bruised, and cut. He has been a cross-carrier and sin-bearer, and no liquid has salved his throat. He is thirsty.
Why doesn’t he do something about it? Couldn’t he? Did he not cause jugs of water to be jugs of wine? Did he not make a wall out of the Jordan River and two walls out of the Red Sea? Didn’t he, with one word, banish the rain and calm the waves? Doesn’t Scripture say that he “turned the desert into pools” (PSALM 107:35 NIV) and “the hard rock into springs” (PSALM 114:8 NIV)?
Did God not say, “I will pour water on him who is thirsty” (ISAIAH. 44:3NKJV)?
If so, why does Jesus endure thirst?
While we are asking this question, add a few more. Why did he grow weary in Samaria (John 4:6), disturbed in Nazareth (Mark 6:6), and angry in the Temple (John 2:15)? Why was he sleepy in the boat on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:38), sad at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35), and hungry in the wilderness (Matt. 4:2)?
Why? And why did he grow thirsty on the cross?
He didn’t have to suffer thirst. At least, not to the level he did. Six hours earlier he’d been offered drink, but he refused it.
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. (Mark 15:22–24 NIV,italics mine)
Before the nail was pounded, a drink was offered. Mark says the wine was mixed with myrrh. Matthew described it as wine mixed with gall. Both myrrh and gall contain sedative properties that numb the senses. But Jesus refused them. He refused to be stupefied by the drugs, opting instead to feel the full force of his suffering.
Why? Why did he endure all these feelings? Because he knew you would feel them too.
He knew you would be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be sleepy, grief-stricken, and hungry. He knew you’d face pain. If not the pain of the body, the pain of the soul … pain too sharp for any drug. He knew you’d face thirst. If not a thirst for water, at least a thirst for truth, and the truth we glean from the image of a thirsty Christ is—he understands.
And because he understands, we can come to him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Proud of our Flag

Posted on FB today was this photo (see below) and a story about a man that was not allowed to fly the American flag in his yard by his home owners' association so, he fixed them.  He repainted his house (which I am sure breaks a covenant as well), but he made his point.  The thing that probably bothers me more than him being told he couldn't fly the flag was that a person who I will not name had the nerve to go out to this picture and say "What's so special about d American flag" (first take note of the grammar, really?).  I couldn't believe it, but this person was put in their place quickly by lots of true blooded Americans and it wasn't even by the person that posted the picture.  I loved that!  I will say that based on the comment of the un-named person, I'm assuming they don't call America home (at least I hope not).

Got to love this!  I so do!

Then my faith was restored again after reading what this "un-named" person wrote when I saw this (also posted on FB)...  I love all our military men and women, but there's just something about those Marines and especially the kids!  Absolutely love this.  Make sure your sound is on so you get the full impact.  Also, don't stop watching too soon, because as soon as the music stops, watch those kids go right back to being kids like you would expect.  They know what is important so for our "un-named" person, take note!

If this video doesn't move you, your mover is broken.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The ugly truth

So many people in this world aren't truly aware of the nightmare our military face once they return home from war.  I stay close to this mainly because I feel such a connection with all the young men that served with Chad and those that are still serving.  Trust me, I was one of those people that truly did not understand what our veterans deal with as well as those that are still serving once they have experienced war.  I started educating myself when my son, CPL Chad S Wade, enlisted and had his first deployment to Iraq.  I prayed every day he was in Iraq that he would come back the same young man who left.  I was always more worried about his mental state and his heart while deployed that first time than his actual physical safety.  I can't explain why, but that's how it was.  Now, once he deployed to Afghanistan, I will admit my fears were equally shared between the mental and physical safety and at the time I couldn't really explain to myself let alone others as to why I felt that way, but it's apparent now that the Lord was preparing me for the worst.  We were fortunate that Chad had no mental issues after Iraq and he seemed to re-acclimate back into the "real" world pretty well.  He had some adjustments to make right at first, but the Marine Corps and his buddies helped each other through those bumps in the road and made a huge difference.  In addition, Chad not only had an amazing family to support, love, and encourage him he also had his upcoming wedding to focus on.  I do believe all those elements helped him not dwell on what he had experienced in Iraq, but to stay focused on the here and now as well as building a future.  I'm grateful for that.  However, Afghanistan was a different story.  I had a horrible feeling about this deployment from the very beginning and apparently rightfully so.  He had been in his final destination there for 5 weeks when he stepped on an IED and died. I knew his brothers in arms would need their families even more now once they returned to the states (this is when our foundation was born) www.wingsforourtroops.com.  When I read this article today http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/kristof-a-veterans-death-the-nations-shame.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&smid=fb-share it broke my heart.  I want to do something to help these men and women, but I have no clue what to do or how to start so if there are any suggestions out there please share.  My heart is just full of love and pride for these men and women and I just feel like I need to do more to help them.  Even if it's just listening to them, I need to do something to help them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On line acution - Huge success!

For all that participated in the FB online auction through After Glow Beads, THANK YOU!  You all raised $1,275.00 for Wings for Our Troops "in loving memory of CPL Chad S Wade".  WOW!  I'm just blown away by the support, love, and encouragement our troops must be feeling to know this many people are behind them. 
We are hoping to have some very good and exciting news to share with you very soon.  More coming.  After Glow Beads is planning to host another FB online auction so if you weren't able to participate the last time, you will have another chance in about a month or so.  Stay tuned! 
If you haven't visited these two ladies that have been so instrumental in supporting our troops and Wings for Our Troops please do.  Check out http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150619305953217.411902.314762198216&type=1for After Glow Beads and http://www.daisyandelm.com/ for Daisy and Elm Jewelry & Rosaries.  You will be amazed at what these women can do. 
Help support the small businesses and in the meantime continue to help support our military troops.  It's the very least we can do with the sacrifices they are making for us each and every day.

Don't forget to wear your RED on Fridays for Remember Everyone Deployed!  Always remember that any given day there are American troops on the ground, sea, and in the air fighting in a dangerous war to ensure our freedom. 

Thank you again for all your support and feel good knowing you just helped some Marines get home before and/or after deployment.

R.E.D. Friday jewelry (sample) from Daisy and Elm Jewelry & Rosaries (check out more on her site)

R.E.D. Friday necklace (sample) from After Glow Beads (check out more on her site)