Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simple Joys

Welcome back to Simple Joys on this Tuesday following Memorial Day Monday. This week my Simple Joys do revolve around this most solemn holiday. Even during somber occasions I am able to identify the Simple Joys around me now. That wasn’t always the case and for this I am most grateful. Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Memorial Day Parade. Since my oldest child joined the Cub Scouts in the end of his Kindergarten year, we, as a family, have taken part in our town’s Memorial Day Parade. The boys dress in their handsome Class A uniforms, march holding American flags, and stay at the conclusion of the parade for the program that follows honoring those who have fallen. They, young boys, seem to understand the gravity of the situation, and, although they can get a bit squirmy, can pull it together to sit or stand quietly while ceremonial wreaths are laid in honor of fallen heroes. This year the boys were dressed in their Webelos uniforms, akin to the Boy Scout uniform they will wear in two short years. At the conclusion of this year’s parade a crowd of hundreds gathered in Veteran’s Field to honor two men from our town who had died in battle. The families of these men were the guests of honor, and their memories of their loved ones, their son and brother, were spoken eloquently and emotionally. One man had died in battle during the Vietnam War in 1968. The other man was killed in October 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. His military brothers came to show respect and honor one of their own. It was incredibly moving and left me overwhelmed with emotion. I stood shoulder to shoulder with these soldiers, and, in front of me, were my son and his Den brothers. Both groups looked so young to me; the soldiers clearly men but many with boyish faces. My Webelos, in various gawky stages of youth, are closer in age to the soldiers than I care to acknowledge. Looking at the soldiers and listening to family members reminisce about sweet young boys who loved their mothers was simply too much for me. The tears fell unabashedly. I held my son tightly and made sure to tell him, as I do anyway, how much I love him. It was a Simple Joy to be a part of this community that circled around to offer support of these two native families, be a part of something bigger than a barbeque over the holiday weekend, and truly remember the reason we celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. God Bless America and God Bless all of the families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedoms.

Dr. Rus. I joined Twitter in October 2010 to little fanfare and even fewer followers. It wasn’t until several months later that I found and followed a man named “DrRus” that my Twitter world expanded. His profile intrigued me and we seemed to have a bit in common. I finally gathered my courage and sent Dr. Rus a direct message to assess my career path. To my surprise and delight Dr. Rus replied almost immediately with good advice. Over the weeks I kept doing my thing, posting my links, and commenting on Dr. Rus’ tweets. We forged an acquaintance then a friendship. We’ve never met, but we are indeed friends. From movies to music, our love of people and our positive way we approach life, Dr. Rus and I are cut from the same cloth. When I got a “RT” (retweet) from Dr. Rus it was like receiving the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. I am in awe of him, Dr. Rus is even more than a friend, he is a mentor and someone I look up to in awe. Dr. Rus has three children like I do, and out of his three sons two serve in the military. In an effort to support his boys and the many military families in our country, Dr. Rus works tirelessly to keep them in the forefront of people’s minds. He has developed and implemented several programs that help families stay connected while their family member serves. It would be a great service to all military families if you would check out the programs Dr. Rus created and supports. Please take a moment to read the information on the following links:

About General Sarge - http://generalsarge.com/about/
Familes First Campaign - http://generalsarge.com/families-first-campaign/

Dr. Rus is an inspiration and a true friend. He is a man who, along with his lovely wife, has raised three wonderful young men, two of whom serve in the military. His light, dedication, and life are why I am proud to be one of his friends. I believe in Dr. Rus and his selfless projects that support our military families. Knowing and talking to Dr. Rus is a richly rewarding Simple Joy.

Working Together. The holiday weekend brought with it time off for my husband. He and I often find it difficult to spend quality time when our three children require so much of it, but we do try… and succeed. This weekend found us in our local Lowe’s with a laundry list of needs, the last of which was a new storm/screen door. We bought the door, brought it home, and my husband started to work on hanging it. Shortly after beginning the project my husband asked for some quick help. With our baby daughter napping and our two young sons safely playing under our supervision, we set to work together on the chore at hand. It took a few hours from start to finish, but we successfully hung the door without fighting, bickering, or swearing (at one another) which is wonderful! Completing a project together strengthens our relationship like little else can. Once again we proved to ourselves that working together as a team makes us far more successful than working alone. Completing a task with my husband is a huge and satisfying Simple Joy.

I hope you all enjoyed another fine week, found some time to reflect over the long Memorial Day weekend, and will make time to check out Dr. Rus’ links. One way to find and appreciate the Simple Joys in life is to help those who need it. Thank you for taking the time to make my Simple Joys a part of your day/week. I look forward to reading your Simple Joys!

Please join me tomorrow when I wax poetic about a totally new topic!


  1. Hi Candice;

    Wow! What a great post. I have to admit I was right there with you as I read your account of the event you attended over the weekend. I also have to admit I brushed aside a few tears too. What a moving moment to share with your boys and with those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

    Thanks also for your kind words about General Sarge and thanks for your support.

    As General Sarge always says - Two paws up!
    Dr. Rus

  2. I am glad to see that Scout troops are still active in Memorial Day activities in various areas. I am glad to hear of, and intrigued by, Dr. Rus - will have to check out the links, thank you for sharing.

  3. JD, I think you would adore Dr. Rus just like I do! I wish he had these programs implemented back when you went through the enlistment with James.