Grief and Loss

What Memorial Day Means to Me

For me, Memorial Day is all about my Grandfather, a true American Hero who landed on Omaha Beach during World War II. It’s about his service, his life, and his marriage to the beautiful woman he met in a country he never dreamed he’d see. About the four boys they had, and the way he cared for her as she lost her battle to Cancer. It’s about Thanksgivings and Christmases after she was gone, when he stepped up for both of them. Christmas cards signed “Love, Grandad”, and the talks we had as his life neared its end. It’s about “those poor boys” , frozen forever in his mind at 18 or 20, as they were on that fateful day on a beach in Normandy. Finally, it’s about this photo, which I’ve held close for over a year. I was blessed to hold the hand of one of my heroes, a member of The Greatest Generation, Major Oliver Clint Roby, in the last hours of his life. God Bless you, Grandad. I remember. 

12 thoughts on “What Memorial Day Means to Me

  1. That was beautiful. My grandpa always wanted to join the military when he was young and was unable to due to him having polio. I was the first generation to join the military. And still today my grandpa is still proud of me. I know how special it is to have a bond with your grandparents.

    1. Amanda, Thank you for your service! ?? There really is nothing quite like the grandparent/grandchild bond. Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  2. Beautiful post. I come from a military family and people forget the true purpose of this day. It’s not about the barbecuing or the car and furniture sales. It’s about being thankful and celebrating those who sacrificed even a day of their lives protecting and serving our country. People take for granted the freedoms they are given at the cost of someone else’s. We need to remember that more often and stop taking it for granted. Love the post and Happy Memorial Day to your Grandad. Thank you for his service.

    1. Chelsey, I couldn’t agree more! It’s nice to have a long weekend and all, but I think it’s important to focus on WHY, not just BBQ and sales! I really appreciate your comments, thanks so much for reading!

    1. Ell,
      Thank you!! That means a lot to me! Your grandfather and mine were a rare breed. Their generation gave so selflessly. They deserve to be recognized and appreciated! Thanks for reading!

  3. It was indeed a perfect moment to share on Memorial day!!

    Thanks for sharing Grandad’s story – a true hero. God bless him.

    1. Antika, Thank you!! ? He truly was a hero. It feels good to share a little bit of his story, and have wonderful people like you read it! Thanks again!

  4. This is a beautiful post and a lovely tribute. It makes me sad to think that Memorial Day has become so commercialized, that we forget the men and women who either lost their lives or lost someone they worked with. It’s not about barbecues and mattresses on sale.

  5. Jenn, I completely agree with you! When my Grandad was alive, I always made a point of spending time with him on Memorial Day, and making sure he knew how grateful I was for his service. Now that he has passed (February 2016), the day is still about him, but I miss those talks! I still can’t begin to imagine what it was like for him to lose so many, so quickly. Thank you for reading, and sharing your thoughts!

  6. How wonderful that you got to hold his hand as he slipped away! I am sure it gave him great comfort to know that you were there.

    1. Dee,
      It really was wonderful. It certainly brought me comfort, I hope it did for him too. There is something about being there when someone you love so very much passes away. It doesn’t make it easier, but it takes so many of the questions away. I don’t have to wonder if he suffered, I know he went quietly and peacefully. Thank you so much for reading, and for your lovely comments!

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