Sacrifice and Service
This very moving piece was sent to me yesterday and brought me to tears. This woman's son has just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. Her other son will be graduating from West Point next year. I think those of us who are raised in the U.S. sometimes forget all the gifts and benefits this great country has to offer. I think it is a great reminder to all of us to be grateful for what we have received. And say thanks to those that would honor us by serving to protect us.
I have the agreement from the writer to use this, but have agreed not to use her name. Just wanted to share with all of you who read this blog. Sharon
Coming home from a quick run to the store, I noticed the “trick or treat-ers” on the streets…..Ahhhh, it never gets old with me!
22 years ago, Oct 31st …Halloween day…the day we arrived in US.
We landed in Green Bay WI, after midnight. A small crowd of people was waiting for us at the airport, people we never met before, having sweet smiles on their faces and weaving small American flags.
Alex and I were walking towards them, exhausted after the many hours on the planes and airports with two small kids and me…very pregnant. We were a sight to see….I was pushing a stroller with little Thomas in it and holding David’s hand. Alex was carrying all we had, two big suitcases and a backpack.
I got sick so many times on the plane…I remember being hungry and thirsty and as soon as I would eat…out it went. We could never afford to buy coke before, and on the plane it was free, as much as I wanted. Ah, I remember David (he was 2 and a half), telling me that he will put a band aid over my mouth, to not throw up anymore.
Getting in the car, I was so impressed with the “little seats for the kids” (car seats) how special! I was thinking. On the way home I learned that one will get a ticket if kids are not traveling in those seats, lol!
Less than half an hour we were home. Our home. Our first home! It was at night and we couldn’t see much outside, but we got in….it was warm and welcoming! Had everything in it!
Our sponsor, a sweet lady, Miss Marianne H, bought this old house and remodeled inside and out to perfection. We were getting the tour of the house….tears were rolling down my face….the kitchen was decorated, even pictures on the wall, table and cushions on the chairs to match with the wall paper. The pantry was stuffed with food, the fridge also, even milk for the kids! Homemade meals in the freezer for a whole month! With directions how to heat/cook them.
We went in the living room….even pillows and throws on the couches…then bedrooms. The boys had each their own twin size bed with matching All Sports bed sets! And a little crib….for the coming baby. Toy box filled with trucks and building blocks. I couldn’t contain myself when I discovered pajamas for the boys and even for us, in the drawers. Before she left, Marianne showed us one more thing: a phone book! Our name was in there highlighted! OMG!
Then she left. It was almost 4am!
Tired and overwhelmed I couldn’t stop looking through the kitchen drawers, with everything that a kitchen and a cook needs, from pots and pans to fine silverware and cloth napkins and place mats and so many weird tools that I never saw in my life, nor knew how to use them.
Alex and I prayed and cried for a long time….then the sun came up! We went outside in the front yard first. Beautiful gray house, with white shutters! And we could see the park from our front door! Then we went in the back yard! Big and beautiful AND it was all fenced in! Painted gray, to match the house. The fence was a tip given to Miss Marianne by her son in-law who was a missionary in Romania. To help us feel more safe and at home.
We finally went to bed late morning. Slept thru afternoon when we heard the door bell ringing. Who could it be?! Nobody knew us, and Marianne made it clear that unless we call her, she will not bother us till we are fully recovered from the jet leg…etc….Alex went to the door and picked thru the curtains! He looked at me mortified! Masked people! Lots of them! And they kept ringing the doorbell! He calls Marianne and told her what is happening, I could hear her laughing loud saying: “Oh dear, I forgot to tell you….It’s Halloween Day! Look in the pantry and you’ll see a big basket with candy. Then open the door and give them some candy, they will leave!….And be ready for more trick or treat-ers!”
Closing the door Alex let out a big sigh! He then told me why he was so scared…Before leaving the refugee camp in Austria, reading thru American History, he learned about KKK , their hate for blacks and immigrants, and how they would go after them wearing white hoods. That’s the first image that came into his sleepy brain when he saw those masked people at the door. . “how did they know there were immigrants here?. How did they found us?!” Lol
Well, that was our first day in America!
For the next couple of years it was a learning everyday thing for me, for our family. Language was the hardest thing. I did not know more than: Please, Thank you and Good bye! Alex was my translator everywhere. I remember crying all the way home on Sundays, because I did not understand the sermon, and could never keep up with the singing…so today, I wrote this story all by myself!