Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The trip of a lifetime is over, but home is where our heart is.  We were treated like a king and queen by a loving Aunt Bee and Gentleman Jim, a gem.  They spend their golden years caring for a darling seven year old grandson whose life is severely afflicted with autism and her sister Beulah whose health is failing. This dear one was hospitalized while we were there: it was a time of saying good bye as she looks toward heaven to relieve her suffering in this world.  Looking around in the mind's eye, only one out of eleven siblings of that generation will be left; two out of six of my husband's sibling group have gone on to the other side.  While across the country on the east coast, a dear friend passed away back home. We weren't there to say our good-byes.

 Battlefields and war memorials are everywhere in Virginia. 
Gettysburg's battlefield itself is twenty-five square miles where American's slaughtered each other with more dead in the Civil War than all other of our nation's wars combined, where the rivers ran blood red.  Not far from where we slept in peace is the field where more died in one battle in one day than any other of the Civil War.

Standing in the World War Two Monument on the Capital Mall was humbling honoring my father and all of his brother's who served amongst all the rest.  My grandmother was the one to pass away never to see again her four sons who served: a mother who sent all four of her sons away to war, I can't imagine.  From the Iwo Jima Monument to the Vietnam War's Wall, every monument, every statue, every name was sobering.


We walked in Jamestown, to Monticello to Mount Vernon to our nation's capital building in the shadow of those who have gone before, giants of our land.  We come home to pray for Precious Baby Jack who, unless God intervenes, will soon pass from his parent's arms into God's. 
Life is fleeting.  Eternity is nearer than we think.  From hanging onto the overhead bars in a crush of humanity on the metro to silent seatmates on a plane pressed against each other shoulder to shoulder, each has a story.  Few share, but those who did, it was a groom eager to arrive for his wedding or others flying to attend a family funeral.  This trip was a poignant reminder to leave a footprint that leads to heaven, the last great adventure.

Close kin
Stonewall Jackson at Manassas

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