Blog – 11-11-15
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, the “war to end all wars.” Beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States known as Armistice Day. In 1954, in the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.
I’ve always appreciated and felt respect for our military, but as is true with most things, it becomes a lot more real when it hits close to home. The day my son left for Marine Corps boot camp, I became acutely aware of the price of freedom. It wasn’t just “somebody else’s kid” that was fighting for our country any longer. Now it was real and personal.
Suddenly when I looked at the flag and all it represents, I had a new sense of pride and appreciation for the lives lost in defense of it. No longer could I pass by a soldier in uniform and not thank them for their service. I had a deep appreciation for the families the brave men and women who serve in our Armed Forces leave behind.
Isn’t that the way things are…we really don’t “get” things until they happen to us. We can hear about divorce, but it doesn’t seem that devastating until it affects us or someone we love. We read about mental illness, but until we are facing it firsthand, it’s easy to try to ignore it. Human nature has a way of only dealing with what we absolutely need to, I guess.
I consider myself very fortunate because my son has not been deployed yet, much to his dismay! Yet, I still worry and I still pray God’s covering over him. How could I not? It’s a mother’s job to worry, right!
Yet out of our struggles, they can come beautiful things. I was thinking about how hard it would be to have Christopher out of the country, in harm’s way, during the holidays. I started thinking about a little four-year-old girl who can’t quite grasp why Daddy isn’t home this Christmas. I pictured a mother anxiously waiting news about her daughter’s safety. My heart ached for the young wife standing at the graveside of her beloved husband. I thought about the incredible sacrifices the men and women who protect us go through, and my heart was stirred.
Being a songwriter, music is always where I turn to first to help me sort through things. I sat down and started writing a song about how it might feel when Christopher is not home with us for Christmas, when he’s off in a far away land, looking danger right in the eye. How would I handle that kind of worry? How would I cope?
I know that the place I would go is where I always go…prayer. I don’t know how to handle life any other way than by going to God. He is truly my only source of peace and strength. So I started writing and composing something to capture all I was feeling.
In the song I used the title “Christmas Moon,” but I really wrote it about God. The moon and the stars to me show the vastness and the power of God, so it seemed like a novel way to sing a prayer. It obviously has a very special meaning to me, and I’m thrilled that it made it on my new Christmas CD. My prayer is that it gives comfort to families who are “waiting here back home.”
I’ve included an MP3 of the song in this blog so you can hear it.
There’s also a link to a live You Tube version from one of my Christmas shows.
Feel free to share the link with your friends and family who have someone in the military, and while you’re at it, make sure you thank them for their service! And any of you reading this who have served or are presently serving, my heartfelt appreciation and respect for protecting the freedom we all enjoy!
Hugs and love,