Dan comes home tomorrow, so I’d kind of planned for today to be a day of complete rest and relaxation. But you know what they say about the “best laid plans…” Too many other responsibilities popped up, and each one took longer than expected, so aside from sneaking in a nap, it was a day of catching up on small errands and work items. I was able to whip up a couple of chocolatey treats for the private party I’m hosting on Thursday at a friend’s store, and I would love to say that a couple of chatty phone calls I took and made today would count for my gift for today, but since I answered and called out of a sense of duty and not desire, I wouldn’t feel right counting them.
Tonight I finally sat down and spent an hour putting together a photo book for a World War II veteran I met a while ago. I dropped off copies of the same photos about a month ago, maybe more, but I don’t think he remembers it, but instead of arguing the point with a 95 year-old man, today’s gift was to lovingly prepare a book of photos he’ll be able to enjoy. I even had two copies made, so he can send one to his children. Now that I think of it, his children are probably all well into their 60s and possibly their 70s, so I guess they may not remember seeing the photos before if their dad doesn’t.
Going through the photos was a gift to Matt because I know they will mean a lot to him, but it was also a bit of a gift to me because it gave me a chance to remember all the different occasions where I’ve taken his photo and done my best to honor his service and that of all the other veterans I’ve met. Whenever I meet a veteran, I’m hesitant to thank him (or her) for his service because it feels automatic and not meaningful, like the clerk who is mandated to say, “Have a nice day,” to each and every customer. Making the small booklet of photos to surprise Matt with was time-consuming, but I know it will mean a lot to him, and it will be a very small way for me to say, “Thank you for your service,” in a tangible way, helping him to be reminded of all the celebrations, occasions, and events we’ve shared where he was treated as a VIP because of his service to the country and his willingness to give everything for our country during a time in the 1940s when it seemed as if the world was about to end.