After my husband was medically discharged, we were left with very little to our name. Just a couple of months after we left Germany to come back state-side, I learned how to use coupons in order to save us some money. At first, it wasn’t much at all: $1 here, $6 there; but we were saving money. I believed that even saving $1 NOW could potentially be helpful when I need that extra dollar to pay for a bill or diapers. After a while, I got so good with using my coupons that I created a Binder.
One of those “Crazy-Couponing-Lady-Binders!”
After A LOT of research into this whole ‘couponing-thing,’ I realized that certain sales would run every 6-10 weeks; depending on the store and the product. So, naturally, I chose to start stocking up on things to last me long enough for the next sale. I’ve written about why I like my stockpile so much before. However, that post does not explain how absolutely crazy I went about sales. I mean, a few years back I would actually get pissed when I missed a sale; because it meant that there was a high probability that between this sale and the next, I would most likely have to pay full-price or more than what I would normally pay for that product. At times, it really came down to having Chicken or Pasta yet again- because that was the cheapest food at the time- or having something like cereal or sandwiches for dinner.
My husband tried his best to find a job, but for those of us who know what it’s like to live and love a combat-vet, I think y’all might understand the difficulties my husband faced. And not being able to get him the proper treatment, didn’t help him either at that time.
Anyway, so I understood the sales cycles and the items that would normally go on sale. Just about every holiday this country has is also accompanied by businesses creating and advertising sales, like it’s the biggest and best deal you will get. One of those holidays is Memorial Day.
Now, as I said, I used to chase every sale (and I mean EVERY sale) for us to be able to pay bills, yet still have the small extras we had grown accustomed to while my husband was still in the Army. It sucks going from having just about everything your young heart desires, to having very little, a baby, and no way of knowing when and how things will work out for the better.
Memorial Day used to be one of the holidays I tried to snag clothes for us, because for some reason it is the day/week that everyone seemed to have clothes on sale for rock-bottom prices. I would tell my husband, without batting an eye, that I needed to get these deals; like it was some sort of life-or-death situation. I would get ready a week in advance to see whether stores were advertising their Memorial Day savings and discounts, just so I could look for the best deal. I would get excited about these deals and tell my husband ALL ABOUT my great finds for Elijah, him and I; all without ONCE stopping and thinking about my actions.
I was excited!
I was getting GREAT deals!
I was saving us money!
I thought I did well!
My breaking point
My breaking point came when one day my husband was watching a documentary about the Iraq war on TV and said only one thing:
“I kind of wish I was back there; but then again, what does it matter, because nobody gives a sh*& anyways!”
I agreed with him, telling him that people just don’t seem to understand the struggles our Veterans and their families go through when they come home. And then it hit me! Holy Cow! I’ve been doing the very thing my husband just said he feels to be a sign of complete ignorance on our part- the ones back home! We get to live our lives tomorrow just as we did yesterday and the day before and the day before. We get to get up in the morning and not have to worry about access to clean water, access to food, religious freedom, the ability to say, feel and think pretty much whatever we’d like and not have to worry about being tortured, stoned or otherwise brutally mutilated!
We have the freedoms many around the world can only yearn for! And in some cases, if they get caught simply yearning for our kind of freedom, they become outcasts, bring shame to the entire family and fear for their lives day in and day out! Do we have problems here? Sure! Do some factions withing our society feel as though they are not being treated with dignity and respect? Of course! However, I honestly believe that many of us don’t think twice about the freedoms, legal and constitutional protections this nation and its many inhabitants have fought and died for in order for all of us to enjoy these freedoms.
Memorial Day is a day ” to remember ancestors, family members, and loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice.“
Today, we celebrate this day and use it as a way to kick off the summer and have fun, drink, have cook-outs, chase sales and fleetingly mention those who gave the ultimate sacrifice; all the while making an ill conceived effort to thank those Veterans who are still alive! I now acknowledge my sheer ignorance!
While I am grateful for those who have fought and continue to fight for me to have the freedom to announce my opinions, struggles, feelings, word of advice, helpful tips and candid emotions right here on this Blog, I have not paid them the tribute they deserve! These men and women deserve so much more than a sale, a couple of drunk people walking around town, BBQs and a fleeting ‘thank you’ as one passes by a Veteran.
So, this year and every year thereafter, I will do my best to make sure Elijah understands the significance of this one day! I will make sure he understands that all the luxuries he’s been given are due to the sacrifices these men and women have made.
I want to bring attention to all the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order for me to live my life with the freedoms bestowed upon me! This day is for us to remember all those souls who have laid down their lives for us!
Iraq – 4,800
Afghanistan – 2,344
Gulf War – 383
Vietnam – 58,220
Korean War – 36,574
World War II – 405,399
World War I – 116,516
Spanish-American War – 2,446
Civil War – 620,000
Mexican War – 13,283
War of 1812 – 2,260
American Revolutionary War – 4,435
We must remember, though, while these numbers are sobering; they are far more than ‘just’ numbers! These were men and women with souls and the breath of life! They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins! They were someone’s spouse or partner! They were people!
They have given it all!
So, on this day, I will NOT chase sales (anymore)! I will spend this time with my family and send a Thank you and a prayer to those who’ve given their lives so that I can raise my son in a place where freedom and security still feed the souls of its inhabitants!
Disclosure: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. Some posts may contain affiliate links. For more details please view my disclosure policy.