Happy Memorial Day

To remind everyone why we celebrate Memorial Day!

Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

The weekend is here — Memorial Day Weekend, to some it is the beginning of the hot summer season. To others, Memorial Day Weekend is a time to reflect, to remember those who fought for our freedom, gave their lives and to remember them and what they believed in.

As the proud wife of a Vietnam Veteran, Memorial Day weekend is bitter-sweet. We were one of the fortunate couples of the Vietnam conflict. Why? Simple. My husband came home — a totally different man — fearful, easy to lose his temper and to be defensive. For me, the man I married is still over there — his innocent, trusting ways never returned. So, we celebrate Memorial Day  weekend – remembering the young, carefree soldier who returned as a soldier ready to forget Vietnam because, “It don’t mean nothing, man…”

As the wife, I cannot imagine what goes on in a…

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Finding Your Happy Place

Dearest Readers:

Yesterday, I walked over 14,000+ steps. Most of these steps were in the early morning while walking along the pier. How I enjoy walking, especially when a soft, coastal breeze kisses my face. I watched seagulls and pelicans gliding across the harbor waters. I saw men, and a few women, fishing. I noticed my silly right knee stopped popping. Normally, my right knee awakens me with a “snap…crackle…pop!” What a glorious morning to walk.

That discovery got me to thinking. Last week, while reading a book one of the characters asked another character: “Where is your happy place? That’s where you need to go, to put the past behind you. To help with your grief, and to find peace and happiness again.”

Humph. That really hit home with me. Where is my happy place? The character in the story said her happy place was the beach, when her family would travel as a family to the beach during the summer.

All week long I kept thinking Where is my happy place?

I could not answer. Childhood was a rough and sad time for me. My parents moved us constantly, thanks to my mother not paying the rent. Many times we were evicted, managing to move just before the eviction notice was posted. Needless to say, my father was furious with my mother. Who wouldn’t be!

My mother could not handle the finances of our family. Every year there were arguments, building into rage and fist fights. Shouting. Cursing. Pushing. The looks on their faces said it all. Many times, I served as the referee to my family, Just to keep peace. Once, I suggested one of them needs to leave before someone gets killed. My father moved out of the house the next day. Arriving home from school, my mother pushed me and shouted, “I hope to Hell you’re happy now. Your Daddy is divorcing me. You can consider that bastard dead. Do you hear me? Your Daddy is dead now!”

Never did I consider my father dead!

My happy place?

My happy place failed to exist until I moved with my husband to Charleston, South Carolina. We are only four miles from the beach now. How I cherish it; however, I haven’t been to the beach in three years.

While thinking about this, I realized when I’m at the beach, I feel calmness. Peace. The roar of the ocean sings to me. Walking along the beach, the warm ocean waters tickle my feet. Peace and happiness, all at the beach!

My husband asked me why I wasn’t going to the beach anymore. I failed to have an answer.

This summer, I plan to go back to the beach – my all time happy place. I planned to go this Friday, but my precious Prince Midnight Shadow – my giant schnauzer – has a surgical procedure tomorrow, so I will take care of him and maybe next week, I’ll find my happy place once again.

How about you, readers? Where is your happy place? Why not share it with me in the comments. I’d love to know — Where do you find your happy place?