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.