The long weekend update : ) So far, this Memorial Day weekend has been well spent day-tripping, yard-saleing, dining (best nachos and view of the bay at the Black Cow in Newburyport) and hanging out with family and friends. Took a ride up the coast on Saturday. Not sure whose idea it was, but never a smart choice to hit Hampton Beach on the first sunny day of a long holiday weekend (especially when you are stuck in miles of traffic with an empty tank of gas)!
Yesterday, I attended Boston’s Run to Remember (mentioned previously in this post), not as a runner, but as a spectator, cheering on my kids, their cousins and friends.
It was quite an impressive spectacle, with over 8000 runners participating in either a half-marathon or a 5 mile run, all to raise funds in honor of fallen Boston Police Officers. Coptors buzzing overhead, thousands of pounding feet, police motorcades and cheering spectators made for a memorable Sunday morning.
Before I published the original post about Memorial Day, I asked my mom if she had any pictures of my dad in his naval uniform.
He served in the US Navy, aboard the USS Wakefield in WWII. Unexpectedly, the other day, she arrived at my house with an old leather scrapbook of my dad’s dated 1944-1946, filled with pictures and newspaper clippings of his time spent in Guam and the Phillipines. Especially amazing since I wasn’t even aware that this book existed! The edges literally crumbling in my hands as I carefully turn the pages, I am discovering a another chapter of my dad’s life he rarely mentioned during his lifetime. There are maps, typed clippings of naval co-ordinates, photos of his naval buddies and an “official” letter to his mom from the U.S. Naval Training Center.
A family treasure, to be sure, and one that I will try to preserve to pass on to the next generation. With this album they will discover that the man they knew simply as Grandpere was once a young man himself, with a love of family, an adventurous spirit and a wish to serve his country. Enjoy the rest of this long beautiful weekend!! Susan
Previous Post: With Memorial Day fast approaching, rather than discussing the latest decorating trends in red, white and blue or backyard BBQ’s, I would like to take a moment to share my thoughts about heroes. Male or female, military or civilian, heroes are just regular people who, when faced with extraordinary circumstances, rise to the occasion. Without thoughts of their own personal well-being, they give their bodies, hearts, souls and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and safety of others. To them, our friends and families, co-workers and neighbors, soldiers, firefighters and police officers, we say thank you on this upcoming Memorial Day.
In our family, we often participate in charitable events for organizations that honor and help our heroes. This is a legacy passed down from my father, a WWII veteran who donated his time and energy in many ways, and always expected the same from his children. A friend once referred to it as “the crazy charity gene”, which I am pleased to say has been passed on to my own children. My recollections of his generous spirit go way back to when I was attending St. Mary’s Annunciation Elementary School. I remember driving up to the convent in our Ford station wagon laden with donated loaves of bread for the Sisters of Notre Dame.
Fast forward a few decades, and that spirit of generosity and service lives on in this generation. There are so many charities striving to help those less fortunate, every penny counts, and there are countless ways to pitch in. Whether you run, walk, dance, sew, auction, crawl, counsel or just volunteer your time or donate dollars, it matters.
With that spirit of giving in mind, I would like to take a moment to mention a few events in the Boston area that support many of our local heroes. Last weekend, my brother ran the “Run to Home Base” at Fenway Park, where over 2 million dollars was raised for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. These funds are essential to continue to care for veterans and their families affected by combat stress and traumatic brain injury. Congrats to Bob-so proud of you!!
This upcoming weekend, our children, their cousins and many of their friends will be running in Boston’s Run to Remember, a half-marathon and 5K to honor Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. The net proceeds benefit community and kids’ programs of the Boston Police Department and their families.
On May 30th, our family, along with hundreds of supporters, will be attending a benefit at Fenway Park for the Pete Frates #3 Fund. Pete is a 27-year-old, former Division 1 college athlete and Captain of Boston College Baseball, who was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Having recently learned of his devastating diagnosis, Pete, along with his family and friends have stepped up to the plate, coordinating fund-raising events to aid in the research and development of a cure for ALS. Our best wishes go out to Pete, and we are excited to see him throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park next week!
Now me, I am not much of a runner, and I hung up my cleats years ago.(yup, that’s me at bat in bell-bottom jeans-we were lucky to have game shirts back then! Thank you Title IX : ) Sewing is my thing, and I make quilts, lots of them, to donate to local charities. On my Facebook page, “Threads of Hope”, you can view some samples of my quilts that have helped to raise over $11,000.00 for local charities. And if you happen to know of a charity that could use a quilt, email me!
Click on the links above to learn more about, to participate in, or to make a donation to any of these great causes.If you have a charitable event you would like to share or have a picture of your hero, send it to me and I will post it here. On this Memorial Day weekend, it’s all about remembering and paying it forward. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend! Susan