Thursday, September 11, 2014

Patriotic to a Fault

Rick was the most patriotic person I knew. He was passionate about his patriotism in a way that could even sometimes rub people the wrong way. He loved this country. He became emotional about it. I saw him cry more than once when he talked about war, the tragedy of September 11th, or the problems our country faced.

He would go through stages of watching the news every day and listening to talk radio religiously, then decide that those things only upset him or made him feel helpless, so he would cut off all information. No TV news. No radio. No internet stories. He went back and forth in months-long bouts in this fashion.

I remember when we were on our honeymoon in early 2008. We were at an all-inclusive resort for couples and we had dinner one night at a Japanese restaurant. We sat around a hibachi grill with several other honeymooners. In conversation, we found out that one of the men was in the military, home for a length of time. Rick went over to this man and shook his hand. He said, "Thank you for your work and your sacrifice. Proud to meet you." He didn't leave it at that, though. He made conversation with the man, trying to let him know how much he valued what the soldier did.

That happened more than once...his thanks to a soldier, that is.

My husband was not always right. He was not always gentle in his approach to politics or his own opinions. But he was patriotic. And he had heart.

In his office at work, Rick had a framed photo hanging of the twin towers in NYC. He always wanted to remember.

Also in his office at work was a framed 8 x 10 photo of me. It wasn't a close up portrait or a wedding picture of us. It was one he requested: me standing in my wedding dress on my parents' front porch, the train of my gown trailing down the stairs, with an American flag blowing behind me. It always kind of made me smile to see that was the photo he wanted most. Sometimes I thought of it as a picture of his two loves, America and me.

On the anniversary of 9/11, Rick always wore his most patriotic tie. It had American flags all over it. He also wore his American Flag tie clip.

Today I took it with me. To remember our country's pain and strength... and to remember my Rick.

1 comment:

Help me feel less alone.