Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers in my life and the blogosphere!  I spent my Mother’s Day relaxing at home with our boys and puppies.  Hubby made me a wonderful breakfast of crepes, an omelette and some bacon.  It was sinfully delicious!  The crepes were spectacular with cloud berry jam, whipped cream and fresh berries.  On the second crepe, I had blueberry jam that we bought in Norway on it and it was delicious.  I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do when we’re finally out of Norwegian cloudberry and blueberry jelly.  I guess we’ll just have to go back and buy more!

We spent Saturday night at the amphitheater in West Palm for the Alan Jackson show.  To be clear, I’ve never been a country music fan.  In fact, I wasn’t originally planning to go with Goalielocks and the Hubby to the concert.  At least, not until I got the guilt trip from Goalielocks, who reminded me that I had no problem going to the Foo Fighters with Jake. I, of course, reminded him that I love the Foo Fighters….  Nonetheless, I accompanied them to the concert last night.

Fortunately, the weather held out.  I purchased seats under the roof of the amphitheater just in case the meteorologists happened to be right.  They weren’t, but the assigned seats were nice.  We had a great view of the show and weren’t fighting the crowds on the lawns.  As for the show itself, both LeeAnn Womack and Alan Jackson didn’t disappoint.  I’ve heard many of the Alan Jackson songs enough to know the words.  Moreover, they bring back fond memories of my mother-in-law, who enjoyed his music.

While I don’t enjoy their music, I would have had to be deaf to not hear how talented they are.   LeeAnn Womack has some lungs!  Surprisingly, that’s not even the Tito’s lemonade talking.  They were legit.  I’m not converting to country, but enjoyed spending the evening with two of my guys.

We faced time my mom and grandma today to wish them a very, happy Mother’s Day.  It would have been nice to be up in Minnesota with all of them.  After a late night last night, we decided not to do to brunch on the water.  This decision was reinforced by the weather outside, which brought us heavy rains all day.  Apparently, there’s a low pressure system of the southwest coast of Florida that may develop into a tropical system.  Oh joy!

It’s time to head off to bed and recharge the batteries before starting another crazy week.  To all the mother’s out there, I hope you had a wonderful day.  To the beautiful mother’s in our lives, who have felt the excruciating pain of losing a child, today we send you our love and strength.  Lastly, for those whose mother’s have passed, today we send love your way.

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It’s Hump Day

It’s hump day and it’s been 1 day since the Lorbach’s have been in the ER.  It almost feels like a new record after our recent run of ER visits.  After all, in two weeks we’ve been to two urgent cares and three ERs.  We told Goalielocks that he’s tapped out on ER visits for the year after last night.  I wish the doctor visits were over, but to ensure Goalielocks’ continued we’ll be seeing a concussion expert at Children’s Hospital, his primary care doctor and a chiropractor.  We’ve been so focused on the head injury that I want to make sure we rule out any injury to his neck or cervical spine that may be causing the headaches.

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The fact is concussions and their ramifications are quite scary.  If he were to go back to hockey too early and get hurt, it could sideline him for another 6 months, sideline him forever from contact sports or worse.  He, of course, is fourteen and love his sport, so he’s anxious to get back.  Fortunately, the ER doctors have been quite explicit with him about the dangers of returning too early.  In the meantime, we’re treating the headaches with ibuprofen, Tylenol, rest and essential oils.  (Thanks for the recommendation DA.)

Meanwhile, I’m physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting.  The ER visits, worrying about a potential brain bleed (twice), being in the ER away from home, worrying about the concussion and his recovery and anticipating the medical bills has taken quite the toll.  At last last night, I had the hubby with me, so I wasn’t alone in the experience or stress of it all.   Importantly, the clear CT scan erased any worries about the presence of brain bleed.  The CT scan provided peace of mind that was needed after the mix up in New Hampshire and Boston

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Today was a much better day for Goalielocks as the ibuprofen has been very effective in controlling his headaches.  Today is also my SIL’s 40th birthday.  Happy birthday M!  As the Mayor said in the car tonight, “There’s no way M’s 40.  She doesn’t look a day over 37. ”  It was super sweet.  My boys love their aunt and wish we could be with her (and their cousins of course) to celebrate her birthday.

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Thank you!

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone that reached out to check on us today.  We truly appreciated your well wishes, concern and support.  The past several weeks, this procedure has been top of mind.  It has been completely dominant in our thinking.  Well at least my thinking.

While we were hoping that the procedure would be completed today, we have complete confidence in the advice of our doctors.  Since he was healing from a cold, he was at a heightened risk for bronchial spa  sms or pneumonia, which are both very serious complications.In fact, we’re quite happy with how they approached Goalielocks’ case this morning.  Truly, his well being was top of of mind.    Consequently, we will now wait for another three to four weeks before the procedure can be done.

Tonight gratitude is the dominant thought.  I’m grateful for the doctor’s wisdom and professionalism.  Additionally, I’m grateful that my son is finally on the mend from his cold.  Lastly,  I’m grateful for the amazing support we have received from friends and families across the globe.  Please know that your well wishes, support and concern were beyond appreciated.

Tonight’s song performed by John Lennon is “Beautiful Boy.”

Cue the Exhaustion

Cue the Exhaustion

Cue the exhaustion folks, it’s Sunday night after a major holiday and hockey tournament.  Undoubtedly, I am exhausted beyond belief along with all of my fellow hockey parents.  I’m positive I’m not the only one regretting not taking tomorrow off to recover.  It’s month end, which means I cannot afford to miss a minute let a lone a day.  So I’ll be back to work tomorrow at 8:00 am with bells on.

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Our Thanksgiving holiday was marvelous.  We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Jon and Brandi with family and friends that have become family.   After a great dinner, we played some Right Left Center and another game with a box.   Jake had a great night and walked away with some moula after winning two rounds of the game.  After playing games, we watched Star Wars “The Force Awakens.”  I know I’m late to the party here, but I enjoyed the movie.  Although, it is sad to watch knowing we lost Carrie Fisher way too soon.

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I wrote about our early hockey games on the blog earlier and today was no exception.  We were back to the rink by 9:00 am and didn’t leave until after 4:00 pm.  It was a fun weekend at the rink with our hockey family.  These tournaments are exhausting, but are much like a family reunion.   Its a great opportunity to catch up with former teammates, their families and other friends we’ve made throughout the years.

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Yesterdays games were awesome, but I still had quite a few visitors yesterday in the Sin Bin with a lot less (thank goodness) today.   At U-14  body checking is legal and these hits are incredibly loud and percussive.  I’m pretty sure they build the boards to amplify the noise of the hits and increase the hockey moms collective anxiety.

Our boys finally clicked this weekend, after a couple of painful months, which was awesome to see.  These kids have so much potential there aren’t enough superlatives in the English word to adequately describe it.  Nevertheless, I am beyond proud of each of them for their efforts.  As the team went into the championship game, they were definitely the underdog. In the end, we lost a nail biter to a strong Russian team in sudden death OT.

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Of course the bitter reality of leaving the rink at 4:00 pm on a Sunday, is that I still had to grocery shop, finish the laundry and finish all my other errands upon leaving the rink.   I’m pretty sure I heard a collective ugh as us parents left the rink to head home and on to our errands and chores.

Tonight’s song is for my Goalielocks.  Enjoy “May We All” by Florida Georgia Line.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is a day to reflect upon our blessings, eat 5 million calories, watch football and live with gratitude.  I started my morning at the gym with a little Xtend Barre followed by weights.  Of course, I strategically timed my work out  before Thanksgiving dinner, so I won’t feel to awful about all of the things I’m about to eat.

As I baked the cheesecake last night, I started watching a new show that is wonderful.  My colleague recommended The Durrells of Corfu as it  reminded her of my kids..   This ITV produced show takes place in the mid 1930s in Britain and Corfu, Greece.   It follows the story of a widow and her four children (3 boys and 1 girl), who move to Greece after getting fed up with life in England. As an aside, the show runs on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater in the States.

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I quickly realized why this show reminded my co-worker of my kids. The show’s writers based it on the books written by the youngest Durrell.  The youngest son Jerry, much like my kids, caught and brought home every animal he caught.  Of course, the mom losing her cool on her kids that weren’t listening to her or helping around the house resonated with me as well.  The scenery, the characters and the plot are quite interesting.  My kids and I will definitely continue to watch this show.

Today we’ll be heading to my brother’s for a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family.  It’s a far cry from the large gatherings we were accustomed to as kids, but its a nice change of pace.  I remember watching movies at my grandma’s with the family on the holidays.  One year we watched Star Wars Emperor Strikes Back and another year we watched Gremlins.  Speaking of gremlins, I’m pretty sure if I don’t get enough sleep tonight, I may turn into one tomorrow morning.

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To all my friends and family, I am forever grateful that you are in my life.  If there’s anything I’ve learned in 2017, its that life is precious and not promised.  Let’s be thankful today for the beautiful people that have helped shape our lives.  Let’s be grateful for the opportunity to rise and grind another day.  Lastly, today we remember those that are no longer with us.  While they may no longer be with us physically, they’ll always be with us in our hearts.

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Today’s song is the Beatle’s masterpiece “A Day In The Life.”  This song penned by Lennon and McCartney is one of my favorites and is both haunting and beautiful.  Moreover, this song features one of the most famous ending chords.  Interestingly, when Paul McCartney played A Hard Days Night in Miami he and his band ended on this chord.  (I hadn’t picked up on it, but my music expert Jake certainly did.)

 

Honk If Your're Thankful

Honk If You’re Thankful

Honk if you’re thankful!  Judging from the sounds of my morning and evening commutes, S. Florida drivers are super thankful.  Who knew that it was gratitude driving this behavior not anger issues or self importance as I had thought.  I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Debbie stories tonight.

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Let me take you back to last winter.   Our boys had home games early.  The hubby picked up John and TK and bring them to the rink  for warm-ups.  Debbie and I didn’t need to be there an hour early. Consequently,  she picked me up an hour later.  She was even kind enough to stop at Dunkin’, so I could get my coffee fix.  On our drive to the rink, we talked about things she wanted to do in the near future.  She was headed North to New York to visit family and ski, but she wanted to go to Iceland to see the Northern lights.

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It was then that she dropped it on me.  Debbie had decided that she wanted me to take her to a rave in Miami.  Keep in mind, this was probably a week or two after the devastating fire at a rave in San Francisco that had killed 36 people.  Not to mention, raves in Miami aren’t known to be held in the safest locations or be the safest events.

I looked her and asked if she was serious and/or crazy, she was in fact quite serious.  As I’m digesting this request, it dawns on me that Debbie determined that I might just be the hockey mom crazy enough to take her to a rave.  Sadly, and I hate to disappoint people here, even I am not that crazy.   We started talking it through and I told her that likely we’d both end up dead if we went to a rave in Miami.  Can you imagine two hockey moms at a rave with glow in the dark pacifiers?  I mean, can you?

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Rather than head to a rave, I suggested we try going to Ultra or WMC in Miami.  The atmosphere would be similar, but more controlled than a warehouse rave.  Debbie started looking to possible DJ shows we could hit too, but that pesky hockey schedule kept getting in the way.  As it turns out, WMC and Ultra were scheduled on spring break when Debbie and the family were going to be out of town.

One of the things that struck me most in our conversation was the fact that Debbie and her family had been planning things in three month windows.  Debbie and John, throughout Deb’s illness, were both so inspiring in their attitudes and approach to life.  In that  moment, it struck me like a ton of bricks.  While we all plan our lives in days, months and years, they had been planning their life around an illness for almost two years.  Just when you think you’re inspired by people, they blow you away with their amazingness in a whole new way.

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On the heels of the boys’ state tournament, we received the devastating news.  Debbie’s doctors were admitting her to hospice.  Incomprehensibly, Debbie’s doctors determined that she had exhausted all treatment options.  It bothers me that Debbie and I never got to SoBe to enjoy a dance party, but I know she’s dancing in heaven.  The lesson here is don’t wait to pursue your passions or your bucket list trips – go for it now.  And of course, honk if you’re thankful.

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Lastly, tonight is the deadline for online registration for the Purple Stride event.  If you’re thinking about participating, it’s go time.  There is no deadline for online donations to the team.  However, donations received after Friday will not be applied to the team total.  You can join the team or donate here Support Team Deb Force Five!  You can also cheer us on Sunday at FAU.  The race starts at 8:30 am.

Tonight’s song is one of my favorites from Swedish House Mafia “Don’t You Worry Child.” At their peek, the group spent most of their time providing the soundtrack in SoBe.  I hope you enjoy the song!

 

Daily Prompt: honk

Goalielocks & Debbie

Goalielocks & Debbie

Goalielocks & Debbie actually sounds like the name of a television show, but its actually two of my favorite people for whom I’m eternally grateful.  Goalielocks always had an affinity for Debbie.  He loved her like a second mom.  Moreover, he had a profound respect for her.  He was devastated when she was diagnosed.  He actually knew before us as he had figured it out from comments TK had made at school.  However, he didn’t mention anything to us until after we had told him.   It was hard for him to wrap his head around the fact that she had done “everything right,” but was diagnosed with stage iv cancer.

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He didn’t understand how someone who didn’t smoke, drink, eat poorly and exercised regularly could get cancer.   My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV triple negative breast cancer in 2011.  At the time, Goalielocks was in fist grade. Undoubtedly, it was hard for us to tell the kids that their Grandma was so ill.  Nevertheless,  it made sense to him.  I’m sure that was weird to read that, but stick with me here.  Once we finished talking, Goalielocks said “it makes sense given she smokes, drinks, doesn’t eat right and doesn’t exercise.”  Strangely, as a six year old child, he had a pretty good handle on major diseases and their causes.   He was sad, but since the diagnosis made sense to him it wasn’t as scary.

Flash forward four years and the tough questions were coming our way.  While he could make sense of his Grandma’s diagnosis, he couldn’t wrap his head around Debbie’s.  Truth be told, I think many of us felt similarly.  It didn’t seem fair that someone who had followed all the rules ended up with this diagnosis.  Since the diagnosis didn’t makes sense based on behavioral patterns, the diagnosis was very scary.

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Cancer is a scary disease.  Debbie, however, showed Goalielocks and all of us what true strength was.  Moreover, she showed us what it means to be brave, to persevere, to love, and to live fully.  We were honored to be able to help their family while Debbie was on hospice.  Consequently, my boys spent a lot of time with her those last weeks.  In what was the most difficult season of her life, she continued to show us all what it means to love selflessly, to live fully and be brave.  I am forever grateful for the time my kids, the hubby and I were able to spend with her.  While her neither her diagnosis nor her passing make sense to us, she will forever serve as our inspiration to love selflessly, live fully and persevere.

There’s only thirteen days left to the Purple Stride Event in Broward-Palm Beach.  While we’re still $4,000 away from our goal, I am hopeful we can close the gap in the coming week.  To join our team or donate in Deb’s honor, please click here.  Currently, there’s no panacea for Pancreatic Cancer as survival rates remain around 7-8%.

Tonight’s song  “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

The beginning

The Beginning

Tonight I’d like to take you you back to the beginning of our story with John and Debbie as I continue my posts of gratitude.  When we met John and Debbie, we were still playing rec league hockey up at skate zone in addition to travel.  I know exactly what you’re thinking and you’re right.  We were absolutely crazy back then.  TK had just started skating and was an impressive player out of the gate.  The hubby knew instantly that he needed to make the jump from rec to travel.

It wasn’t until our first year of peewee, however, that TK and Goalielock’s ended up on a team together.  We had incredible group of kids, parents and coaches.  To date, that season remains as one of my favorite and most memorable seasons.  Debbie was our manager and as always was on top of everything.  She did an incredible job!   She organized our out of state tournament to Boston, which ended up being a magical albeit blizzard filled weekend.

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For us, Boston almost didn’t happen.  The year before Goalielocks’ peewee A season, we started our own business. It was a huge, scary leap for the hubby and I.  The November of our peewee A season, hubby took a tennis ball to the eye in a freak accident that left him out of work for weeks.  Can you imagine the stress?  We had no employees, as finding qualified help in S. Florida is like finding a needle in a haystack, and the business was starting to gain momentum.   Honestly, I was ready to put him in a bubble.

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No sooner had he gone back to work when he had a run in with a SUV and an unscrupulous driver in our neighborhood.  I’ll never forget when he called me from work to tell me he had broken his arm and he was driving to the doctor.  He’s absolutely crazy and did in fact drive himself, with a major break to his dominant arm, to the urgent care.  At the time, Jake was a sophomore in high school and not yet able to drive while the younger two were still in elementary.  To complicate things further each of the boys was playing travel hockey at the time with scattered practice times all week long.

I met hubby at the urgent care where they had tried to convince him to take an ambulance to the hospital.   There was no way my hubby was going to pay $500 for an ambulance ride 1.5 miles down the road to the hospital!  I picked him and got him into the ER right away.   Fortunately, the Bethesda West ER was incredible and took care of him immediately.

Hubby was in incredible pain and was having trouble recollecting what happened.  There was no way I was comfortable leaving him in the ER.  As this craziness was transpiring, our boys were still at school and After the Bell.  Thank God for the John and Debbie!  They had become neighbors when they moved into the Canyons a few months previously.  John and Debbie were our knights in shining armor.  They picked up the kids, fed them and even helped with homework.  Honestly, I cannot tell you what we would have done without them that day.

While we were in the ER, it was determined that hubby would have to be admitted to the hospital.   Moreover, he was scheduled to have major surgery on his arm the following morning.  Hubby was getting some new hardware!  When I went to pick the boys up from John and Debbie’s house, I was a hot mess.  They were so kind.  I left their house to bring the boys up to see the hubby in the hospital.

Fortunately, Hubby’s surgery went well.   His blood pressure was quite low due to the morphine, so he wasn’t able to get out during the day.  Once again John and Debbie came to the rescue taking care of our boys.   Through the afternoon and early evening, his blood pressure stabilized and his pain became manageable.  The doctor wrote the discharge orders with the caveat that he could urinate post surgery.  Oh boy, the struggle was real.  They brought him something he could use bedside, but he was having none of that.

He was finally able to go, so I started to help him un-tether the cords, unplug the IV and take off the blood pressure cuff.  This created a problem as we were at a hospital that serves a largely geriatric population and therefore uses bed alarms.   Long story short, as soon as I took up the blood pressure cuff, we set off a code blue.  As I walked towards the door to see what all the commotion was, I quickly realized that we were the commotion and they, meaning all the doctors and nurses on duty, were coming for us as they responded to the code blue.  I greeted them at the door to tell them he was simply trying to pee.  The nurses laughed and apologized for forgetting to turn off the bed alarm.  Thankfully, he was able to pee and he was discharged from the hospital.H

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It was weeks before the hubby could drive again and my mom wasn’t able to come down until a week later.  In the interim, John and Debbie were instrumental in helping us function as a normal family.  They helped us with school and hockey.  We couldn’t have done it without them and are forever grateful to them.  While we were always at ready to return the favor, it was always a favor you didn’t want to return.

You never want your friends find themselves in a health emergency.  I never in a million years thought that in less than six weeks, they’d need us just as we had needed them.  I’ll never forget March 4th, 2015.  I had caravanned up to Orlando for our employee roadshow where I was one of the presenters.  This was my first time presenting to the group, so naturally I was petrified.

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No sooner had we finished presenting, when I received a call from my hubby who was hysterical.  I was petrified.  Quickly, I walked out of the meeting room into the long windowed hallway that ran the length of the building.  I thought something horrible happened to the kids while I was in Orlando, so I was terrified.  Once he was able to collect himself, he told me that Debbie had been diagnosed with stage iv cancer.  My heart stopped as I collapsed back against the wall falling to my knees as I began to cry. 

At this time, they only knew that it was stage iv cancer and they needed our help.  We were going to be there for them in anyway they needed nothing more had to be said.  The “Meatloaf rule” went into full effect that day.   Today I’m grateful for the beauty of friends that become family.  For the type for friends that our always there at life’s lowest moments as well as life’s highest.  By the way, John even helped the hubby regain strength with some intense weight exercises.

 

 

In sixteen days, we’ll be running the Broward Palm Beach Purple Stride event in Debbie’s honor.  Please help us wage hope by joining us or donating to Team Deb Force Five.

Tonight’s song: Forever Young

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others.” – Cicero.  I drove to the rink to watch my youngest play to hockey games today with a heart full of gratitude.  First of all, the game was at home – a total godsend.  Secondly, there’s nothing better than watching your kid play the game they love.  No  matter how we hockey parents feel, we’re still gonna show up at the rink to watch our kids.  It didn’t hurt, of course, that they won both games.  Excitedly, the Mayor had the game wining goal in the 2nd game.

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Yesterday, during the torrential rains of Tropical Storm Philippe, Goalielocks and I went to Dick’s and PetSmart.  While driving to the store, we started talking about the current state of youth sports.  For instance, when I was growing up most kids played multiple sports.  In contrast, today’s kids are specializing in one sport by age 12.  Moreover, the cost to play for today’s kids has become astronomical.  In order to stay competitive, many kids play on tournament teams, attend clinics, take private lessons and go to camps.   This, however, comes with an extremely colossal price tag that puts youth sports out of reach for many.   This was mind blowing to Goalielocks.  As we drove home last night, I think Goalielocks understood how lucky he’s been having played travel hockey since 2011.

My heart is full with gratitude for the boys’ opportunity to play hockey.  Our boys have been playing travel hockey since 2011.  In the year since, we’ve had incredible experiences with their teams.  Moreover, the boys had the fantastic opportunity to travel with their teams to Boston, Minnesota, Ottawa, Washington D.C., and Quebec.  This season we will be travelling to Chicago, Atlanta and Boston.  Needless to say my boys’ are extremely excited for these trips.

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There are many things that fill my heart with gratitude, but none more than the incredible people in my life.  From my parents and in-laws, to my brothers, my hockey family, my friends and my work squad, I am lucky to be surrounded by incredible people that make my heart sing.

Memorial Day

Several years ago we were in France for our dear friend’s wedding.  After enjoying the incredible ceremony and party, we headed to Normandy and Paris.  After a brief pit stop in the beautiful seaside town of Honfleur, we headed to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery.   We knew it would be a tough place to visit, but I truly don’t think we understood just how powerful and emotional the visit would be.

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From the moment we stepped onto Omaha Beach, you could feel the death, destruction and despair that had occurred there as if it had just happened.  The feeling was palpable and inescapable.  We started our visit by walking down to the beach where our troops handed landed.  When the attack was launched, it was planned to begin 1-3 hours after low tide, which represented a compromise between the Army and the Navy.  When we visited the beach that day, it was low tide.  As we stood on the beach looking at the beachhead, I couldn’t help but imagine how it must have looked to our troops on June 6, 1944.  The cliffs are steep and were heavily fortified.  As they made their way up the beach, grenades and mines would detonate.  That fateful day 6,600 American soldiers were killed in action, wounded or went missing in action.

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Over the course of the campaign to secure the beachhead, June 6, 1944 to August 21, 1944, 72,911 Americans were killed or went missing in action.  Omaha Beach present day is serene, beautiful and quiet, but the overwhelming feeling of loss that was omnipresent made for hard juxtaposition. It was almost hard to imagine the carnage that had happened in this beautiful place except for the pain of walking on hallowed ground in omnipresent.

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We left the beach and began to walk through the cemetery.  It is here that over 9,000 men who died in the Normandy campaign are buried.  They came from all 50 states and were so young.   As we walked through the cemetery, I couldn’t hold back the tears.  The tomb of the unknown soldiers, of which there are many in Normandy, was difficult to see as a mother.  I could not imagine the pain their mothers endured never knowing what happened to their son and never having closure. My heart ached for them.

We were there in 2011, 67 years after the D-Day Invasion. There were flowers and personal notes left on several graves, which took me aback.  Sixty seven years later, the pain of loss from World War II was still very real.  The wounds of war are slow to heal.  We left the American Cemetery quietly and without speaking we headed to lunch.   The experience was heavy, emotional and one that took several days to digest before any of us could speak about it.

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The American Cemetery was humbling visualization of how many brave soldiers, sailors and airmen were willing to go to their death to preserve our freedom.  Amazingly,  it is representative of only one campaign in one war.  In the course of American history, we have lost 651,008 servicemen and women.  This Memorial Day we remember those that paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedom.  The deep sense of gratitude hardly seems adequate for the price they paid.  Lastly, we hold near their families, friends, and battle buddies, who still feel the pain of their loss.