Have you heard of “Gold Star Mothers” or “Gold Star Families”? Do you know what these phrases pertain to? To be part of this elite club, which all members wish they weren’t, you have to lose a member of your family in the armed services. My family has this heart wrenching honor.
My brother Sean was the first Physician Assistant to be killed in combat in Iraq. That was back in 2005 and it has been a hard journey since. Being part of this small group means that your heart sinks, if not breaks, at the news of each new death. It means that Memorial Day,Veteran’s Day, and Armed Forces Day takes on a whole new meaning. For others they are just days, but for us they are days in which we feel our loss a bit more. This member ship also means that each year there are memorials or dedications that we go to. This weekend I will travel to the dedication of a classroom to my brother. I am honored that this is being done, but I also know that it is going to be a hard weekend.
I wish with all my heart that my family did not belong to this club, but I am so very thankful for all that the Army and different groups do to remember our fallen. One of our greatest fears is that our loved ones will be forgotten. Yes, they did volunteer for this duty and they knew it was a possibility but for those us left behind we prayed it would never happen.
So this weekend I will see a space that is in honor of my brother and will be used by others following in his medical footsteps. Sean lived his dream and lived it well. I will be honored and touched this weekend. I may shed tears though I don’t know about that. I miss him terribly right now. How I wish for what can’t be, remember with a smile at what was and struggle with what is. As we all do.