Perhaps it was a dream, she thought. Perhaps if she pinched herself, she would wake up. But she didn’t want to wake up. She wanted to stay in this dream world where she found herself holding him once again. Instead she got a flag. What was she going to do with a flag? Seriously. She would have hand-sewn 1000 flags stitch-by-stitch if she could just spend one more day with him.
She realized she had been thinking and therefore was beginning to awaken. She could feel the tears falling steadily down the side of her face onto her pillow. She pinched her eyes shut holding on to every detail of this dream that she refused to rise from. “He was so real.” She thought to herself, again realizing she was thinking instead of dreaming. She silently cursed herself as she refused to open her eyes.
She lay in the bed as still as she could, aware that she was now almost fully awake. The tears were coming faster. She was amazed at the reality of her dream. She could feel his strong arms wrapped around her as she nuzzled his neck. She could smell him, the sweet, woodsy smell that lingered for days after he would leave.
It was difficult to be a military wife, but she loved him so much that nothing was too difficult to bear. Each time he would leave, she put on a good front and waited till he left to cry. She always had butterflies for weeks when she knew he would be coming home again. She was a good and strong wife to him because she loved him so much. She longed for all of that again. The ups and downs were worthwhile, she missed those feelings. Now, on this day, she is numb.
She knew the holiday is what brought forth the dreams. The part that bothered her the most was the unsettling feeling that people take their lives for granted. At the parades in which she always attends, she found it frustrating that the children don’t applaud the Vets. She hates that parents don’t teach the children the correct way to treat a flag. She despises that people don’t have the respect to stand for the National Anthem. She is disappointed that she lost him to a generation that doesn’t care.
Her husband has been gone for 20 years and still this holiday brings forth pain. She will always love him and she will always believe in this country. At this day in time, she wonders where the pride has gone. Her husband died for their mockery, that is something she will never understand.