This post was supposed to coincide with September 11, but for the life of me I couldn’t make myself sit down and write it then. I have a hard time writing about that day, and an even harder time talking about it. For the boy challenge on Project Run and Play I made my son a bag out of BDUs, and working on that project has made me do a lot of thinking. Thinking about real-life superheroes. The real people who our sons can look up to and admire. Instead of keeping it all inside, as I usually do, I decided to share these thoughts with you.
We all know where we were on that day. We all remember hearing about the heroes who gave their lives on that day. And then there are the heroes who gave their lives in the 2 wars that followed. All of these men are real superheroes.
My first husband, Gabe and Charlotte’s father, was one of those heroes. He was killed in action on March 11, 2007 in Iraq.
These are actual photos of his memorial in Iraq.
This is the Gulf War Memorial in Cumberland Maryland.
When I was preparing for the boy challenge on Project Run and Play I decided I wanted to make a bag for Gabe with special meaning, so I went into the attic and opened up the big black box to get a BDU top. I have only opened it a handful of times since it was shipped from Iraq.
I cut into the BDU top and started sewing it together. I pressed the seams, and a strange thing happened. The fabric still smelled like him. That manstink that soldiers get when they don’t shower for days out in the desert heat was STILL IN THEM. Somehow the steam and heat released it. I was taken aback. It was a very real reminder of his presence in our lives, even though he’s not here physically he is very much here. Every time I look at my son I see him.
I know it’s a little late, it’s not September 11 anymore. But it’s never the wrong time to remember the real superheroes. The ones who died, the ones who are still fighting, the ones who enlisted even though it was a time of war, knowing they were risking their lives. My (now) husband, Jason, enlisted in the Navy after the wars began, and I have always respected that so much. It takes great courage take that risk to serve your country. I guess I have a thing for superheroes 😉