Memorial Day .... Remembering. ~ The Grace Between

Memorial Day …. Remembering.

Today is a day of remembering the dead …. But I believe with every ounce of my being that they live, and keep on living, if we each take part in the remembering. 
In our memories. In photos, blogs, stories, in Facebook feeds. 

(Editor’s Note: As of May 14, 2012, there are still 1,666 Americans listed by the Defense  POW/Missing Personnel Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. The ongoing and unceasing fight to bring them home is spearheaded by The National League of Families-an organization very dear to my heart-whose sole purpose is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War. Click here for more about the organization and ways you can support their effort.)

So I am doing my part. 
Today I am remembering Original J. 
1LT Jaime Lynn Campbell, KIA January 7, 2006 in Tal Afar, Iraq. But I don’t want to talk about that. 
I want you to know that she always thought of other people before herself …. 
…. she loved her momma. She ADORED her niece …. but she was still her dad’s girl …. 
…. she lived and breathed compassion …. 
…. she took Husband jeans shopping. A monumental task-he hates all form of shopping …. 
…. she had zero tolerance for excuses ….
…. she pushed, nagged and cajoled me along on our runs …. never giving up on me ….
…. she made a mean fajita …. 
…. she graciously and non-awkwardly put herself to bed at 8pm on July 17, 2004 at a random Florida campground so Husband could make his move and I could have my last first kiss …. 
…. she made me want to be a better version of myself …. 
…. and somewhere between first flights and learning to hover and lucky check ride gum (Juicy Fruit) and floating down Alabama rivers and feeling like I would never learn to hover, she became a sister, a woman who loved the Lord and loved me and got the one part of my life that I couldn’t articulate to the family and friends who had known me for twenty four odd years. 
And, that poor girl had to listen to Husband fall in love with me while I was desperately trying to convince him (and her) that I was completely unavailable. There are five people who truly got to see the beginning of our life together unfold … that knew us as us, rather than loving one and knowing the other by default. She was the first. And she knew us best. And stood up with us on our wedding day when we became the official us. 
So yeah, I miss her. And you know, she still makes me want to be a better version of myself. I look at my babes, my Jaime girl, and think about what kind of a mother she would have been. And I think, “I better not screw this up because I have these babes and she didn’t get that.”

I live the best way I know how because she doesn’t get to.
And isn’t that how we honor them too? …. We live. And we love each other and say it a little more and hug a little tighter and speak freely and vote freely and we are all gratitude for the chance. 

So live. Live well, and here, in the land of the free, and the home of the brave, live gratefully. 
I miss you Jaime. 
P.S. I know there are those of you who read this blog that have sweet memories of her. Would love to hear some more:)


Love this artist. His song, Unknown, tells the story of the soldiers who fought and died to protect our freedom. It pays tribute to soldiers who have fallen in battle, and especially to those whose identities remain unknown. Helping them live on …. 

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