Easter Sunday turned out to be a tough day – emotionally for me, at least.
But it was even tougher for a 90 year old widow of the Greatest Generation.
We went to visit her husband’s grave site…
Mr. Doreston “Johnny” Johnson. Sergeant, United States Marine Corps. World War II.
As I was cutting down trees and chipping the cuttings in the backyard this past Good Friday, Marge’s caretaker drove Marge up to see me. What a pleasant surprise – besides, it gave me a great excuse to stop working. I hate yard work.
After chatting, she brought up her husband. It had been a year since his funeral with full military honors and that she hadn’t been back to see him.
She didn’t need to say anything more.
We agreed I would take her to see him two days later – Easter Sunday.
Mostly, I will let the few pictures and short videos speak for themselves.
She loved and missed him so much, she struggled out of her walker to kneel down and kiss his gravestone. I offered to help and she said, “This is something I have to do on my own…” Such fortitude.
After I DID help her back up (she said I could help her now), she reminisced with me at graveside before we departed:
On the way back to the car, we took a break (in the hot sun) as her legs are weak now. As any great lady from that great generation does, she thanked me over and over for taking her to see her husband, especially on Easter Sunday, while crying. I said to her that Mr. Johnson and Old Man Jack could never forget the horrors from combat but they were the greatest human beings – because they learned to forgive – and that it was an honor she asked ME… an American of Japanese descent, to escort her to visit with her husband.
These Americans from back then gave their all for our country… and nearly all of them have outlived their friends. They are now alone – after all that sacrifice that you nor I will EVER weather.
I think they deserve better.
We should all try to return the favor, no matter how small the gesture, when the opportunity presents itself.
Indeed, a humbling Easter Sunday.
68 thoughts on “A Humbling Easter Sunday”
Like I told you Koji, heart breaking and heart warming. You set an incredibly high standard for us to try and achieve. What a beautiful Easter you gave her.
And to us – there are no words for this moment – just tears.
Thank you to both of you… As they depart our world, even a small thank you would be a wonderful gift to them. My “gesture” was small – but fulfilling as well.
…and as you did for the 10th Mountain Division vet at Christmas, my Queen.
This is about you, and Marge, and Sgt. Johnson. By the way, I forgot to say I thought the pictures, from the very first one, to ALL of them, were fabulous!
Reblogged this on The Chatter Blog and commented:
Respect earned. Respect given. Kindness shared. Koji is a wonderful man.
Thank you… By the increase in visits, we can tell what a following you have!
I think it has more to do with the writing of the moment you shared.
Let’s not be modest, my Queen with a bazillion followers… 🙂
You silly old bear. (Pooh reference). It is your writing. Your story. Your compassion and generosity. You must know that these things are appreciated.
You are a great person. What a wonderful act of service.
Thank you but the “greatness” belongs to them… and they are leaving us at a sad rate every day. May they finally rest in peace.
A reblogué ceci sur Lest We Forget and commented:
Nothing more to comment on
Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Lagace.
Ditto all the above comments…way to go my friend.
Thanks, Trooper Gar… and I love your profile pic!
Well, I’m in tears. This is a beautiful post, although tremendously emotional. Bless this dear woman in her loss, and we are all losing something mighty special as these dear members of the Greatest Generation leave us. A humbling Easter, indeed, but God bless you for your kindness and compassion, Koji.
I chatted with her at graveside about taking her to see Mr. Johnson. I took that opportunity to say that what he and Old Man Jack bitterly fought for was now standing together at graveside… a smaller world had evolved. She thanked me several times while breaking down. Then later, when we took a break in the sun (the vid), she thanked me again. I was overwhelmed… That’s when I asked her to stop crying…. 🙂
Thanks for reading. BTW, I did find the pictures of the bell flowers. I will email them.
Thank you for sharing this, Koji. Please give our best wishes to Mrs. Johnson.
I shall. We will be going back on Memorial Day. Thank you for reading!
Wonderful. Every picture tells a story, as Rod Stewart would say. You cannot help but fall in love with this couple.
Thanks for sharing this.
Thank you so much for reading about this small yet fulfilling event, michelg!
Your post has brought me to tears.
My husband’s adoptive grandfather and grandmother were of that greatest generation. A couple of weeks ago, they were in a terrible head-on car collision, where a young, unlicensed driver passed on a blind curve and smacked them in a van. 89 year old Tiny died a few days later from her injuries; 91 year old Bill survived with broken legs and ribs.
Bill will recover, with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren there to comfort him, and faith in the Lord to strengthen him. Last year Bill and Tiny went together on an honor flight to remember his service. Thank God they were able to do it together–it will be a lasting memory for him and their family.
Too soon the war will pass from living memory. We must listen to our grandfathers and remember them as you have here, on this blessed Easter Sunday. Thank you for this touching and memorable post.
Kocart, I am terribly, terribly sorry for your family’s loss…and for Bill. To have lost his lifelong partner – I cannot imagine how he must feel. But I am very elated they had the privilege to go on that Honor Flight. This is truly one good use of federal funds – to honor Americans that gave their all and asked for very little in return.
Thank you for reading…
Thank you for your kind words. And God bless you.
If you can call this a ‘small thing’, it’s what makes the world a better place. Beautiful.
…and what you do to re-unite families with their four-legged family members is also wonderful. It was extremely fulfilling.
A solid set of photos, and I caught your video on Colleen/Chattermaster’s blog.
I pay my respects to you in your bereavement. Sincerely, Noeleen.
Thank you so much…
Wonderful to see … that love and affections don’t die … that the togetherness stays for some of us.Touching gallery – and so respectful. I can image that you embraced the honor to company her. Lovely story … today too.
And that’s what it was… an honor. And it was more of an honor to have chatted with her for the six hours we were together. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂
Fantastic … yes, we should take more time to talk and listen to our elderly … they have a life fare from ours … that we can learn from.
What a wonderful experience. You are a great man!
Thanks but not I… Greatness is leaving us daily in the form of these now elderly citizens. Many lost their sons, fathers and husbands yet they worked in the factories in a massive war effort…and returned to living in a much changed world. A world we live in today.
How sobering, gut wrenching and a beautiful gift to both of you at the same time. I’m choking back tears. 🙂
Thank you… I need to get back to reading the blogs…but after a few more “form filings” required by the all powerful IRS. 🙂
ahaha! i hope you are getting a return and not having to pay in.
What is Marge’s relationship with you? Obviously she didn’t just randomly pull in your driveway to ask you to do this. What is the strength of the affection between you two? Inquiring minds are being nosy.
It was a great story and I loved the pictures. I’m glad she didn’t mind you taking and sharing them.
Hi, dogear6. Thank you for visiting. There are four short stories on her late husband in my blog. If you click on the colored text in this story, it will take you to the first one. I was blessed being neighbors with two WWII combat vets – both of whom fought against the Japanese in that bitter and horrific war. Thank you again for reading…
Oh duh. I didn’t realize those were hyperlinks! Thanks for pointing that out.
We need to be reminded to honor them because of the great sacrifices they made so that we can enjoy life today. Thank you for your post. Beautifully written.
Thank you, Judy. As I’ve mentioned all to often as of late, I need to get back to reading the others’ blogs… So much to learn!
Beautifully put Koji. Peggy’s 92 year old mom spent Easter with us. Her husband, also a WW II veteran, passed away three years ago. “John’s waiting for me,” she told us. And she told us again how he had been shot down in World War II and the military told her he was missing in action. Two weeks later he had walked out of the jungle. They were a Great Generation.
Indeed, Curt, indeed. The younger generation – and even folks my age – have not suffered as our parents and grandparents have. Perhaps that is what is needed now.
Has to be an easier way to wake folks up than the Great Depression, World War II, and unbridled prejudice, Koji.
I hope so, Curt… I hope so.
What a beautiful post, tears were in my eyes the entire time I was here. Seeing my son’s stone (also USMC) shoots reality back to you with too much velocity, but at the same time you need to be strong and not let them down. I can see Marge felt the same way – the girl has spunk.
I am sorry to learn of the loss of your son, gpcox, very sorry. I can see you identify with Marge. You have “spunk”, too. Semper Fi.
Sobbing. This really hit me.My daughter just left on deployment yesterday and I won’t see her for a year. I can’t even express how I feel. Love is eternal I see and it never goes away. Thank you for such a beautiful post.
In return, I thank you and your family – and especially your daughter – for the much needed service to our country… Thank you for reading.
I got here via Chatter Master’s reblogged page. What a beautiful touching post!
Ahh… The great Chatter Master… 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to read it! The Greatest Generation is leaving us daily and it saddens me quite a bit… but now, one more person is aware of them. Thanks again.
Thank you for sharing this so very touching post. Bill
Sir, thank you so much for stopping by…
Reblogged this on Masako and Spam Musubi and commented:
Due to parenting duties, my story on the firebombing of Tokyo viewed from both sides had to take a temporary back seat for a few days… But it is Veteran’s Day. This is a story of the love for a WWII Marine’s wife who recently lost her veteran husband after 66 years of marriage. Cherish our veterans, I say…
Yes, Koji, we must cherish our veterans. What a kind thing you did to take Marge to see her husband. Reading the words, “Oh, my darling . . .” made me cry. A beautiful love story and yes, humbling, too.
She loved him greatly. She was lost without him…
Reblogged this on THE RED KIMONO and commented:
Mustang Koji posted this story of love, honor and commitment in commemoration of Veteran’s Day. Beautiful and humbling.
Jan, you are too kind especially with taking your valuable time – from Tommy and WRITING your sequel to the Red Kimono! You are writing it, yes? 🙂
Thank you for sharing this. It is a beautiful and moving love story.
Sir, thank you very much once again. We did go back for Memorial Day. She passed away a short time later. I was never able to take her back as I promised…but then again, she is with her beloved husband. She was lost without him. https://p47koji.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/thriving-love/
Made me choke up too.
Thank you, Hilary, very much.
Heello mate great blog
It is much appreciated sir.