PETALS OF APPRECIATION CAMPAIGN: Week One Update
In honor of Memorial Day, this week’s “letter of appreciation” pays tribute to my Uncle Frank and all his brothers and sisters in service who did not return.
Forty-seven years ago this week, my father’s brother was killed in action during the Vietnam War. The 18-year-old Army PFC left behind a wife, infant daughter, parents, younger brother, and five sisters. His siblings tell stories about Frank and his habit of getting into mischief, playing pranks, and making them smile. I frequently wonder about the young man who made such an impact on those I love and the one he would’ve been had his life taken a different path.
We can’t change the past nor overwhelm our thoughts with “what ifs”, but we can carry with us the memories and stories of those no longer with us. It is with a heavy heart and a thankful spirit that I often think of the brave soldier who ran toward danger when so many run from it. What can I learn from the tragic and violent end to my uncle’s brief life? That I can’t wait for my life to take shape. I must treasure every moment, be present, follow my heart, and keep moving forward despite the unknown.
I wish I’d known you, Uncle Frank, and I know that somehow you’ve been here with your loved ones through all the joys and struggles since your spirit and body parted ways. You’re likely causing havoc in the afterlife with your parents and sister, but I hope you know how much you are loved and missed.
Join the Petals of Appreciation Campaign:
Each week, from now until June 30th, 2015, send one Thank You letter to someone who made a positive impact on your life: family member, friend, mentor, teacher, police officer, social justice champion, musician, actor/actress, writer, author…the list goes on.