Memorial Day

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Proud to be American! Even prouder of the people who sacrifice their life to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

If you love a veteran, watch this documentary.

“Freedom has a price.  It’s not free.  You have to fight for this freedom” – Marine who served in the Korean War from Chosin, the documentary,

The only thing my father ever mentioned about the Korean War (he was a member of the Frozen Chosin and was at Inchon, one of the worst battles in Marine Corps history) was in regards to the TV show, M.A.S.H.

My sister and I used to hound him about it.  “Why won’t you let us watch it?”

He said curtly, “Because it’s not funny.”

He flipped the circular dial off and give us a look.

There was no way we could possibly know what this war did to him.  But I truly believe he sacrificed a part of himself he never got back.   My father is buried at Arlington Cemetery.  He was cremated and his ashes were sent to Arlington.  He did not get buried until January, because there were so many soldiers being buried from the Iraq War.  To love a soldier that survived war is to know what war does to a man.  But as the man in the trailer for Chosin, said, “Freedom has a price.  It’s not free. You have to fight for freedom.”  And I salute everyone who has served and the families that have loved soldiers who have come home and to those who have not.  My heart goes out to you.

I finally began to understand this side of my father when I went to a veteran’s support group meeting with him.  The psychologist who led the group had a hook for a hand; he lost his hand in Vietnam.  The men in the room that did speak, spoke about not wanting to burden their children and wives about the atrocities of war.  They thought it was best to keep it locked up inside themselves.  I’ve never been more proud of my father than at that moment.  It was his way of opening his heart about something that was deeply painful for him, even though he did not say a word.

Dad, I love you.  My father served in the Marine during the Korean War, and was also a member of the Frozen Chosin and survivor of the battle of Inchon.

My father stopping to smell the roses on my wedding day,


I saw this photo on Facebook today.  And that made me think of ee cummings’ poem, “I Carry Your Heart With Me.”  It really is powerful when you believe in your dreams and weed out negativity.  I have been working on this.  And I have also been praying about it.

“Would you carry all your mistakes, regrets and failures in a bag and take the bag with you where ever you go? Most people would say no. Then why carry them forever in your mind. Many of us carry a lot of unnecessary baggage with us everyday. What happened yesterday is gone forever. New days should bring new adventures. Everyday should be explored to its fullest.
Have a great day and remember to spread the message of positive thought with those that you meet. Carry in your mind, all the goodness and value you bring forth into into people’s lives.”
~Lessons Learned In Life

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Carry love in your heart; you will have a lighter load.

Anyway, I wanted to share it with you.  And feel free to comment about what your hopes, wishes, and dreams are.  Hope. Wish. Dream. Be. © – memomuse

Maybe by just writing them down, you can start the magic.  “If you build it they will come.” – Field of Dreams

By the way, I have been to Field of Dreams in Iowa.  I traveled cross-country with some friends after college, and we stopped there.

And I’d like to share my favorite Walt Whitman quote, “Be curious, not judgmental.”  Walt was a fine man, who followed his heart, which is at the center of the Attachment Parenting philosophy — following your instincts to love and nurture your child.

“Follow your heart and you can never fail.” – Stacey @ Moonstruck

Really, it’s an ancient thing.  Dr. Sears did not invent it, he just coined the term.

That’s my two cents on that!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  I will be posting a special post about Memorial Day.  My father was a Marine, who fought and survived one of the worst battles in Marine Corps history: Inchon.  He was a member of the Frozen Chosen.  I miss the heck out of my marine.  He passed away in 2003.  I am proud to be his daughter.  When I watched the documentary, Chosin, about this horrific war, it broke my heart to know my father went through this.  It was so cold — their eyeballs froze.  It’s in the documentary. 

Temperatures dipped to frigid levels and a veteran recalled a “mind-numbing” cold so intense that the troops’ eyeballs would freeze until they put their hands up to warm them. “It was 30-below zero,” Wiedhahn said. “You lived in 30-below temperature, all the time.” – Quoted from Military Connection article.

Megan Oteri © All Rights Reserved

Another interesting article about frostbite and skin cancer — the Korean War and frostbite.  My father had 70% frostbite in his legs.  He fought really hard to get disability for this too.  I remember how all the paperwork stressed him out.  He was a right brained person like me.  And yes, he had skin cancer.

Needless to say, I cried while I watched it.  He never talked about the war.  I wrote this essay about my dad and how he found peace in gardening.  He had a poet’s heart.  He taught me to marvel at nature and to be curious, not judgmental.  He taught me honor and respect.  In the video below — the first line one of the Frozen Chosen men says, “Freedom is not free.”  The website is

This photo was in the patio garden my mom and dad created.  That’s my marine.  I love you Dad!  Happy Memorial Day.  My father is buried at Arlington Cemetery.

This is a photo of my father, while he served in the Marines, during the Korean War. He is what some refer to as, a member of the “Frozen Chosen.”

In the documentary, Chosin

This is what my dad wrote in my journal.

“Keep up courage and hope.” – Dad 

What’s in your heart today?  I carry my father in my heart.  I carry courage and hope.  What do you carry in your heart?

Make Some Wishes

If this was a magic bench, who would you want to sit with?  I would choose my father.  He passed away in 2003.  I really miss him and I can’t believe it has almost been 10 years since he died.  When he was dying (from cancer), he told my best friend, Heidi, “Make sure Megan writes. She is a writer.  It’s in her blood.”

Sunset in the Sky © Megan Oteri ~ All Rights Reserved
If you could fly anywhere, where would you go?

Where would you fly if you could go anywhere in the world?  I would fly to Denver, then I would look forward to the two-hour drive to Cheyenne.  I love crossing the Wyoming/Colorado state line.  Before you get to the Wyoming state line (via I-25 North), you see a wood silhouette of a buffalo in the distance up on a vista.  I love that buffalo.  Then you pass the Terry Bison Ranch.  This is one of my favorite places in southeast Wyoming.  And you can get the best bison steak around at Terry Bison Ranch. So delicious.

3 Blackbirds © Megan Oteri ~ All Rights Reserved
Make three wishes! One for each bird.

Make three wishes.

Have a good day!

I hope all your wishes come true.

Hope. Wish. Dream. Be. © memomuse