Semper Fi: Help Send My Nephew to Arlington Cemetery for his Grandma’s Funeral


If you can spare $5, I have a FundRazr campaign up here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cXcEe.

I am trying to raise money for my nephew to buy an airline ticket from Wyoming to Washington D.C. It is last minute flight arrangements as we recently found out the date of the funeral. And my nephew just was able to get the time off of work.  His boss has been a veteran for 25 years, so that helped.

My Nephew and Me when he was eight years old

My Nephew and Me when he was eight years old

My Nephew and Me at my mom's nursing home August 2012 (the last time I saw her)

My nephew and me at my mom’s nursing home August 2012 (the last time I saw her)

My mom is being inurned with my father at Arlington Cemetery. My father was a member of the Frozen Chosin that served in the Korean War (Marines). My father died in 2003 and his ashes are waiting to be reunited with my mom’s ashes.

My Nephew and My Mom

My nephew and my Mom

“It’s not gonna be easy but I know Betty would cross the world for our funerals. So I’ll cross the United States for her.”
– John, my nephew (regarding making it to his grandma’s funeral at Arlington Cemetery).

My mom died Christmas Eve, but it takes a long time to schedule the date of the funeral at Arlington. I want my nephew to be able to go to the funeral, but we just found out the date and my nephew also just got the time off from work, so it is last minute. Can you spare $5 to help pay for the airline ticket? The funeral is July 1. We are covering hotel and food expenses. I think it is important for my nephew to be able to go to his grandma’s funeral and honor both his grandparents at Arlington Cemetery. They were very close.
Thank you for your help and passing this on.  Here is the link to the FundRazr page: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cXcEe

Semper Fi

Today is my parents’ anniversary (June 21). I am preparing to reunite them together (at least their ashes) when my mother gets inurned with my father’s ashes at Arlington Cemetery. He was a member of the Frozen Chosin in the Korean War. Help my nephew be a part of this funeral. He has to fly last minute from Wyoming to DC. Thank you for your help and passing this on. 

Semper Fi

My Mom and Dad

My Mom and Dad

I will be posting photos from Arlington Cemetery on my blog, www.memomuse.wordpress.com, if you would like to follow us on this journey.

American Flag

American Flag

Semper Fi

Here are some posts about my mom :

The Red Rose of St. Therese

Magic Mama

Christmas Eve Angel

Build the Castle

Garden Muse: Seeds and Sorrow; Fruits and Joy

The Red Rose of St. Therese

and my dad:

The Dress and the Snake

My Father — My Thoreau

A Tribute to My Father

Photos from my wedding

Photos from my wedding (Top left – my dad and me;; top right – me; bottom left — my husband, me and nephew; bottom right — my mom and me)

Angel Light "Every moment of light and dark is a miracle." - Walt Whitman

Angel Light
“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” – Walt Whitman

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A Tribute To My Father


A Tribute to my Father

*** Note to readers: this started as a Facebook status update and I decided to post it here.
Missing this Irish man today.
Dad's article
He died 9 years ago in the middle of the night, technically December 11 at 4 am holding my mother’s hand. But I always feel like this is the day he died since December 10, 2003 was the last time I saw him and had to say goodbye to the father I loved for 29 years. Death sucks, but it is a part of life. Trying not to get all existential, but perhaps I should take this status update to my blog or journal. But you see I miss him. I miss him, and as grief has numbed the loss – a hole that death leaves, gaping in concave fragments of the heart, a sense of longing has replaced this. This sense of missing him, knowing he is gone. I miss him.

I miss seeing the veins on his hands, crossed in a holding pattern on his lap, a cigarette always tucked puffing solo in his lips. I miss his morning silence and two cups of coffee minimum rule: “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.”

I miss him.

I miss watching his gait, heavy to the left, limping, shifting the weight in stride to his other leg — the leg I now know had significant damage from frostbite from Korea. I miss his odd sense of humor and his incredible intelligence. I miss how he could talk to anyone. I miss his pride. I miss his pats on the back and how awkward he became when I insisted on hugging him.

I miss him.

I miss the way he could pack a car, no matter how large with flea market finds. I miss his Cuban wedding shirts. I miss his scarves which he always called mufflers and reminded me to bundle up on cold Wyoming winter nights before I left the house. I miss his anger, sometimes dark and black. I miss his garden and the flower pots he filled them with — stacked in neat rows around the brick wall around our house on Maxwell. I miss seeing him peaceful with dirt in his hands.

I miss him.

I miss the way he wrapped his shoelaces around his ankles, tying them pragmatically in double knots as an old man. I miss his grey hair comb over. I miss his kindness and Irish pride. I miss smelling Corn Beef and Cabbage every St. Patrick’s Day. I miss the strong scent of coffee in the kitchen of our home. I miss having a hell of a hard time trying to buy him the perfect Christmas gift.

I miss him.

I miss his voice and his ability to speak only when necessary in a conversation. I miss his knowledge and the statistics he could whip out on any baseball team in this century or the last. I miss that he could give the biggest compliment to me through a third person like when he told my best friend Heidi that she had to make sure I write because it is in my blood — “Make sure Megan writes; she is a writer — a journalist a poet. She is related to Percy Bysshe Shelley, you know? Make sure she writes — it is in her blood.” I miss his smile, sometimes rare and sometimes wild.

I miss him.

I miss watching him read thick books and biographies. I miss startling him if I walked up on him unexpectedly, giving me a sense he knew fear in the strongest sense of the word and I miss the sense of relief he had when he knew it was me. I miss his car — a long maroon Lincoln Continental plastered with proud Semper Fi bumper stickers.

I miss him: John Shelley Miller, my dad — the first man I ever loved.

My father and I on my wedding day (November 23, 2003)

My father and I on my wedding day (November 23, 2003)

My dad in Korea. He was a member of the Frozen Chosen who fought in Inchon in the Korean War,

My dad in Korea. He was a member of the Frozen Chosen who fought in Inchon in the Korean War, He is bured at Arlington Cemetery.

My dad and his friend from Korea.  This man called me shortly after my father died.

My dad and his friend from Korea. This man called me shortly after my father died.

My dad around Christmas time 2002 -- his last Christmas

My dad around Christmas time 2002 — his last Christmas

My father had a poet's eye.  I believe he took these photos on leave during the Korean War.

My father had a poet’s eye. I believe he took these photos on leave during the Korean War.

 

My dad stopping to smell the roses. This photo gives me such joy.

My dad stopping to smell the roses. This photo gives me such joy.



Fence

Fence

I send messages to my father through the birds. Cardinals deliver same day mail.  My father loved cardinals and I can’t help but think he sends me messages back when they whistle by me. My yard in North Carolina is filled with cardinals.  I see one weekly — at least.
My father and I on my wedding day, November 23, 2003

My father and I on my wedding day, November 23, 2003

Photos from my wedding

Photos from my wedding

Betty and John were special people.  Anyone that ever met them knew this.  They were storytellers and magicians.  They made people feel good.  Sure, like everyone they had their problems, but deep at their core, they were the pot of gold.  My magic - my love.

Betty and John were special people. Anyone that ever met them knew this. They were storytellers and magicians. They made people feel good. Sure, like everyone they had their problems, but deep at their core, they were the pot of gold. My magic – my love.

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,