Tag Archive | heroes

Remembering the Heroes of My Childhood


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I was coming home from breakfast today and feeling blessed, thankful and a bit sentimental. I decided to drive off the beaten path and go by the VFW hall that was such a central part of my childhood. It was strange to see how much smaller the building and the property seemed to my adult eyes. It’s not my first drive past the place as an adult and yet it still gave me pause.

In that moment I could hear the sounds of the hustle and bustle of the busy place. I could close my eyes and see my friends and I running around, dancing by the jukebox and listening to the stories of our elders. I remember how excited I was to create a Jr. Girl’s Unit with my Mom. It was something we did that bonded us a bit more deeply to each other and to the community we loved and enjoyed.

I could almost smell the aftershave of all the heroes of my childhood as they would buy me a candy bar or ruffle my curly hair. I remember feeling safe there. Safe in the care of these adults who drank beer, watched sports on the TV, and told stories of yesteryear. But they did way more than that in my life. They taught me to honor the flag, to appreciate the sacrifices of those who traveled to faraway lands to fight and protect the freedoms that I often forgot I enjoyed. They showed me what service was and walked hand-in-hand with me as I learned those lessons. They created a fun and safe environment for my naive childhood to blossom.

Yes, I could hear them, and smell them, and feel them again today as I drove past that vacant building. It made this crisp, sunny autumn day come alive for me in a different way.

And then I remembered the season – I remembered standing outside the grocery store selling those little paper poppies in remembrance of these heroes. And I smiled, in anticipation and hope that someone will be standing at our grocery store this week with poppies. I will buy one and keep it with me as a token of thank you for those who came before. Thank you to my Grandpas – Jim and Juel, and my Dad. Those brave, loyal, tender, hardworking men who influenced my childhood and my life. I am blessed to have them shape my world and to embed a deep love of country, heroes, and family.

This week as we celebrate Veteran’s Day in the US – I honor those heroes who have been in my life – those of my childhood and the friends and neighbors that walk in my world today.

Be blessed heroes!

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Faces of Inspiration


I noticed recently that things that matter seem to get watered down because we speak a language of trends and broad sweeping terms in our society. We live in a day and time that has a short attention span and a cause of the day, and sometimes just a passion of the minute. We do this because it helps us articulate concepts and categorize our thoughts. Or we do it because we get distracted or bored with the cause, the work, or the endless need for energy and attention.

The irony for me is we talk and inspire in generalities but we all actually live our lives in specifics, with an eye toward personalized circumstances and close-up people. We can make so much more of a difference if we personalized our focus and energy more, and took action based on this instead of generalized information. We would make greater strides if we looked at our choices with faces associated. For example:

When I think about hope for a cure for cancer, I don’t think about faceless scientists or big name organizations. I think about my friend Jean, Anna the mother of my friend Anita, my colleague Tammy and so many more.

     

When I think about soldiers laying down their lives for our freedom, I don’t think about commercials for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. I think of my brother Jimmy, my Grandpas Jim and Juel, my Dad Jim, my friends Milton, Suzanne, Tommy, and the loved ones of my friends and neighbors.

When I look to uphold the rights of humans, no matter their race, gender, religion, or sexual identity, I don’t envision slogans and commercials. I honor and respect Shelly, Mike, Andy, Miguel, Yonah, Rakesh, Rong, and Angel.

When I seek to connect to others who write and inspire, I don’t think of facecless authors or iconic motivators. I read and admire Maureen, Lynnette, AnnJay, and many more. They use words, humor, inspiration, quotes, photography, and encouragement. They reach across the abyss known as the internet and they touch others.

I wish I had pictures of everyone to share on here. But you’ve seen a few. I challenge us, as a people who want so much to create a better world, to live life in specifics. Choose causes with faces you care about and know. Support and encourage people and not just the cause of the day. Let us stand for those we love and make all the difference in the world. Let us bless and be blessed!