When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t find it in me to write. How do you write a blog to encourage women to live their HeartStories on the day we pause everything to remember the fallen ones?
The men and women who gave their lives to give us freedom.
It’s hard to find words. I considered writing about grieving, freedom or gratitude. But I just couldn’t write. So I didn’t.
I gave myself permission to just skip today.
It was too hard.
After spending the day with thoughts of gratitude for the freedom I have. Thinking of all the stories families remember today, it occurred to me that I could tell one.
Because that’s something I can do. I can tell the story of a woman who was fighting for me. A woman who had a family and a story. A name.
She was born the same year I was, 1976.
Her name was Jaime Jaenke.
Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class, Jaime S. Jaenke
At 29 years old, she was serving as a paramedic with the Navy in Operation Iraqi Freedom, when her humvee was hit by a roadside bomb on June 5th 2006. She completed 25 missions in Iraq, safely escorting 375 people. Her unit was involved in reconstructing the country, building infrastructure such as schools and wells.
Jaime’s cousin remembered her this way, “Her dream was to be a nurse. She did what she loved doing, which is help others and serve her country.”
Jaime left behind a beautiful 9-year-old daughter who, no doubt, did not understand. It’s been 9 years this year. Kayla is probably graduating from High School any day now.
I bet she still misses her mom.
I bet she still doesn’t understand.
I bet it still hurts, bad.
I hope she knows we remember, even on the days it doesn’t seem like anyone does.
I hope she knows we are grateful.
I salute you.
You are the real hero.
No words could ever be enough.
I remember you today, with an ache in my heart for your loss.
May you enter your years as an adult with the pride of your mother’s sacrifice.
May you carry her love in your heart.
May you honor her and free yourself, by laying bitterness to rest with the past.
May you be filled with peace and hope.
May you live your life with purpose.
Make the difference only you can make.
May we each remember. Not only the fallen ones, but the ones who are left behind to hold the pieces.
To more love,