Heroes

We don’t give ourselves enough credit. We should be our own heroes. I grew up in a time when we were discouraged from talking about ourselves, especially as a girl, and not to get too full of ourselves. It’s a whole new way of doing things nowadays. Kids are praised for everything, constantly. Is it too much? Do they grow up thinking they are perfect? Some do, in my opinion.

How do we learn to give more credit to ourselves (the boomers) and raise kids/grandkids who aren’t full of themselves. It’s a definite challenge with the kids. On one hand, they are at all to stand in a gym full of people at the age of six and sing solo, or speak, or act. They need to be prepared though, for the days they’re told no, when things don’t go their ways, and when someone else beats them out of a trophy, or someone else gets a job/promotion/or something else they want more than anything.

Sometimes, I’m glad I didn’t lead a charmed life, and had some of the life disappointments I had. I knew things would not always turn out the way I willed them to do. I also could handle it. I hope kids learn to do that. I hope it wouldn’t immediately throw them into feeling so badly about themselves and their abilities that they may hurt themselves or worse. And I hope their parents can “take it” too. A parent putting pressure and guilt on a child can have devastating consequences on that child.

People who do the simple, everyday, acts of kindness are sometimes bigger heroes than those who run into danger to rescue us from fires and crazies. The people who work everyday to support their families during these times are quiet heroes. I think of my dad when I think of those people. He was always a steady, familiar force while we had him. After we found out about his many medals from the military (two Bronze Stars, from WWII and Korea), His status rose further in our eyes.

When we do what we are supposed to do, instead of simply doing what we want, we should be our own heroes. I’m serious! Saying “NO” to ourselves is brave. It’s how we’ll progress and how our lives will change. Others are not the only ones we should say “NO” to; sometimes, we need to say it to ourselves.

Case in point? I have finally finished taking ornaments off the tree and have them ready to put on the storage shelves. I put it off from last week. I found the couch too comfy. I found the new books I read over the weekend too good. I was not my own hero. I will be when this is all stowed, because I’ll be in much better shape than I was a year ago. Last year, things were haphazardly put away, and now they’re not. It’s all orderly. I’m proud of that small victory.

We practice detachment from the excuses we’ve made previously, and we begin to make way for new habits, new hobbies, new people. And discipline we haven’t had before. We might have weird feelings while we lose the bad habit, the procrastinating gene of our makeup, but in the end, it will feel like normal when we stick to it. We will have a surer sense of mission, purpose, and fulfillment. Great things will happen. Try it. See you tomorrow!

What Day Is This?

I’m sure everyone has asked themselves that question during the last ten days. I’ve been a day ahead of myself all week for some reason. It’s perfect to have it during vacation, with the holidays themselves on Saturday. Recuperate on Sunday, back to work on Monday? Maybe. Some folks will have designated holidays on Monday, and schools won’t go back until Tuesday or Wednesday.

This is Thursday, I had some office work at the Post to help the Babe; he had two funerals at the Omaha National Cemetery for the VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard. The Commander’s wife was decorating for New Year’s Eve; it will be beautiful. A lot of progress is evident at the Post; a year ago, we met to begin planning the great remodel of the facilities. It’s coming along nicely. The bar area is the last and will be most expensive, as it includes the rest rooms. The 90th Anniversary Party is in April, 2022, and it will be wonderful.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with saying:

“The hero is no braver than the ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”

All of us are capable of heroic acts. My dad was a hero in WWII and Korea. He was also a hero to me. He was a great example of working (perhaps too hard), and staying the course. He was unwavering in anything having to do with providing for his family. Shows of affection were a bit more difficult for him. His mother told me once, “he took after his father in that department.” Grandpa finished growing up in an orphanage, one of ten children, hugs weren’t given away freely in that era.

Heroes we refer to who save a regiment of soldiers solo are much more glamorous than everyday, working class heroes. Consistency is what matters. Integrity is what matters. Above and beyond often means taking care of yourself so you can care for others. It’s not news-worthy but it is necessary in life. Staying the course, being consistent, and honesty are critical. We are all capable of doing small but heroic deeds in our daily lives. Keeping on our workout routine and eating healthy makes you a hero to your child, who needs you to be there for him or her as they grow up. Be your child’s hero. Those of us who achieve hero status just have worked at it a little longer than others. But we all can do it. Let’s join each other in being each other’s heroes next year. Help each other along.

Try and list all the things that turned out well this year. Concentrate on the positive. Despite everything, I’m thrilled with how 2021 played out for me. I became not only a published blogger online, but also in print; in Nebraska Writer’s Guild Anthology #5. I’m nearly there. What have you accomplished despite the odds? Be your own hero. You know you were braver than you ever thought for even five more minutes. Be safe out there. See you tomorrow, as we say goodbye to 2021.

This Date Shall Live in Infamy

This date not only commemorates the day the United States of America was purposely attacked by the Japanese military. Chaos reigned in the area, until we gathered our senses, made our plans, and locations like Midway, Guam, and other islands became key areas to defend and win back for freedom. Whatever the other history is, where we made serious mistakes and overlooked intelligence, many young men were lost in this horrible attack. Those who survived never forgot. The people of America united easily to support their military in not only Europe, and Africa, but now in the Pacific. The Japanese awakened the sleeping dragon.

This date is also the birthday of my first mother-in-law, Josephine Gerdun Tomasek. I often thought how difficult it must have been to have this terrible event happen on your birthday. Her family was still growing in numbers, and her husband Frank eventually worked at the Martin Bomber Plant in Bellevue, Nebraska. Offutt Air Force Base was built on the property and became home to the Strategic Air Command.

Josephine had a hard life, many children, and many challenges with life with her husband. She took her marriage vows seriously. Til death do us part meant something to her. Some relationships thrive with struggle. She was a creative woman, fed seven children, clothed them, and made sure they all had a Catholic education. God meant the world to her. She was always kind to me after her son and I divorced. She felt it was important to keep me in her life, and I always appreciated that. She loved that my kids came first to me. Happy Birthday in heaven, Josephine.

The third event on this day has caused my family it’s own day of infamy. In 1988, my father, Thomas M. Jewell, Jr. died of lung cancer. It was a horribly fast moving cancer. He lost 51 pounds in the 51 days from diagnosis to death. He was only 64 years old, had just retired, and was looking forward to traveling for the first time in his life. He made reservations to a European Campaign of his Army Blackhawk Division, following the route he and other soldiers took following General Patton through Europe, liberating each country from Nazi takeover. He never got to take the trip. Mom did.

So today, as America remembers, I’ll remember a lovely lady along with my dad, who Josephine called a gentleman. He was. And yet, he was a badass, too. When I received his medals from the Army, there were many, and also two bronze stars. Badass, indeed. I’m so proud to be his daughter. Remember today. Remember freedom. Remember our military, still sacrificing for our freedom. Thank them if you see someone in uniform today. Be kind to the old gentlemen in their VFW hats. Respect the Honor Guards as they lay heroes to rest. Be grateful. And we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Corporal Daegan Page

I am beyond words after watching the funeral of an American hero. Out of respect for him, here is a video his family shared on Facebook today. It lets you know Daegan as a person. A son. A brother. An uncle. A boyfriend. All the best things of his life. We, as a grateful nation, can never imagine a loss like this, unless we’ve had a knock at our door. Thank you, Corporal Page, for being all-in. All the time.

Watch the video, and know, we need to make America worth his sacrifice. We need to get along. We need to stop bickering. Now. See you tomorrow.

Two Within Twenty Four Hours

With last night’s late blog, and my starting much earlier this morning, you’ll be getting 4 chances to register within a twenty four hour period. Take advantage of it while you can! You can comment here, at the end, scroll way past the ending, and you’ll see a box for “Leave a Comment.” That is where you can comment.

I must share with you the photo Tracy took of Gavin with us last night. He was so happy we were at his concert. He must be deep in thought because he said, “I’m so lucky to have you two for grandparents,” and said that the last time we were together. Of course, some naysayers will say, “He’s just sucking up for Christmas gifts!”

I beg to differ with you. Isn’t that a nice phrase? Rather than becoming uncivil with a comment, one may choose to “Beg to differ.” And there were no hurt feelings or name calling involved. Let’s try and think “Beg to differ” instead of “Those stupid Republicans,” or “Those damned Democrats!” Let’s be above name calling and be civil.

Anyway, while begging to differ with you, I say I do believe some kids really do realize when they are lucky. And it doesn’t have to do with material things, they can actually feel the love someone gives them. And they appreciate it. And kids are honest, they will tell you what they believe. I love their honesty. It’s so pure.

So, call me crazy, I know Gavin meant what he said. He wasn’t schmoozing.

Gavin after his “The Giving Tree” program last night.

I’m still thinking about the message from the tree decorations my mom bought yesterday and the fact I’m getting a new Christmas tree for home this year, AND the fact that Gavin’s program was about The Giving Tree. I do believe there is a message there for me. I believe it’s telling me something about Christmas, giving, and the past. Maybe like Marley (In The Christmas Carol) I’m weighted down by something in the past about Christmases. Maybe I’m not giving as much of myself where I should be doing so. Maybe the best thing I can give myself is a different outlook on things.

One thing I want to do is concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas. It has nothing to do with Black Friday (I honestly do not know when that became a thing!), with last minute bottom lines, how much money businesses make this shopping season, and with who wins the next debate. Those things don’t warm my soul or make me feel good.

So what is it I should do?? Be generous with the Red Kettles I see at shopping centers.

Be willing to help someone out. I am finishing a project for someone who is unable to. I will make time to finish their project for them. In keeping my word to another human being, I am helping others a lot.

Learn to graciously say, “I just can’t do this.” No explanation. Sometimes you need to know when to turn things down that you can’t possibly do and still function well. The wisdom to know the difference is worth our weight in gold.

There is a great deal of wisdom existing in the world, and I think some comes from out of the mouths of children. Their innocence is unbelievable at times, yet they can be wise beyond their years. Many little children are exposed to things they never should be.

When my oldest son was in kindergarten, a classmate came over to play. They played house within sight of me. I heard the little girl give a detailed explanation of a scenario. “You didn’t come home from work, and I went out with my friends to a movie, dinner, and drinks. You got mad I wasn’t home and I’m not going to tell you where I was.” This was really way too old for a kindergartener. I don’t like how it makes me feel at my age right now!

Sometimes, I wonder what happened to this little girl. She was a good kid but came from a really dysfunctional family. Alcoholism in spades, generational and it was severe. A lot of us had difficulties in our childhoods, and may still be shaking off the past. This year is the time to find out how to shed it for all time. The rest of our life doesn’t have to be how the first part was, especially if it was bad. It was there to shape us and teach us what to do or not do.

In the next week, many people will be gathering for their Thanksgiving dinners and “Thanksmas” and whatever else may be scheduled. Some will be happy gatherings, some may not. Whichever yours is, be sure you stop and think about what you have to be thankful for. Sometimes, it is hard to think of things. Just remember that there is good everywhere. We just need to look for it. There have been times in life when things have gone so wrong that I was thankful for the fact my car started. Period. Presently, my life is so abundantly blessed it’s hard to find things that are so wrong they will ruin my day.

Today, I’m grateful for Gavin, Joell, Addison and Kayla. They’re the best grandkids I could ever hope for. I’m grateful for a man like Dan who encourages me to be myself. It’s a relationship that is perfect for me. I’m grateful that my children grew into good grownups, and that they are independent in their lives. All mothers probably wish they could see their grown kids more often, I am no exception.

I’m so grateful that we have the home and environment we have. It’s a very contented, happy place. Our two dogs add considerably to it.

Think of what you are thankful for. Really think. You may even surprise yourself. Leave a comment on these things. Give us a like and you are on your way to chances to win the $50 Visa Gift Card. It will be given away on December 01, 2019, drawing will be at NOON. Thank you for reading, and please, come back tomorrow!

Love my Veterans

What I remember about Veterans Day as a kid was about the Armistice which ended WWI. From Wikipedia:

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice signed at Le Francport near Compiègne that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices had been agreed with Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Once I started high school in the fall 1966, Father Vernon announced a moment of silence, at 11:11 am, on 11/11, and every classroom was quiet. We understood what it all meant. And we respected it.

Now, in present times, we have a kid in You Tube saying kids shouldn’t know about WWII. It’s too traumatic. Life is traumatic at times. Everyone needs to learn to deal with it. Period. Yes, even little kids. Life isn’t touchy-feely. It will eat you up and spit you out if you do not know to cope with the harsh parts of it.

As the Vietnam War dragged on, I was appalled at how the veterans were treated. It was very wrong. This era may have been when as a society, we began to consider respect a thing of the past. I believe we quit having respect for those who keep us free, those who serve and protect as first responders, and those who are elected to lead our great nation. Can you disagree?? Yes, and you should do it respectfully.

We have many veterans my extended family. My dad and his three brothers all served. A few years ago, I purchased memorial bricks to be placed around the flagpole at the Benson VFW Post 2503.

From the far right, my Grandfather, Father, and two Uncles. The family served in WWI, WWII, and Korea. Proud of them all.

A few years ago, I petitioned the Army to receive my dad’s medals. Two Bronze Stars. We never knew.

Veterans Day isn’t about free meals, it isn’t about a sale at JC Penney or Nebraska Furniture Mart. It is about those who
who served. Those who came home and those who did not. Those who came home and settled into mundane lives, all the while thanking their God that they returned home. Those who returned home but are still fighting a worse war because it is a war within themselves.

The Band of Brothers and Sisters extends through all branches, none are omitted. The example of their brotherhood is amazing. They are always there for each other. When you have entrusted your life to another soldier, you can say you are comrades, brothers in arms.

God Bless all of you. And may God continue to bless America. What do you think of on Veterans Day? Leave a comment, like the blog post and my site, and you will be entered to win a $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing on December 1, 2019. Thank you for reading and see you tomorrow!