“You know your grandfather is dead, right?”

That’s how she told me that my grandfather, the one who hung the moon in my world, had died. It was March 7, 1988. I was eight years old. A ball of flames had swallowed my grandfather up when his P51 Mustang “Dolly” crashed in the mountains.

“I know.” I said, but I didn’t really know. I knew he had been missing and my grandmother had been crying, but he was fine. He wasn’t in a thousand pieces on some mountain where he stayed undiscovered for days.

Yes, he was.

So I went to eat at my friends house. They talked and passed around food and I squashed my tears so I could be good company.

My grandfather was dead. My grandfather, the WWII crew chief of a B-25 Mitchell bomber based in New Guinea, flying raids against the Japanese, was dead. He survived WWII but couldn’t survive a trip to an air show.

I sobbed loudly into my pillow that night.

My mourning was all my own, and it had to be done in quiet. Every part of me ached; I loved him so much.

But today I’m saying, “God, I miss him.” And I’m letting my tears fall and I’m wishing I could have known him as an adult.

Memorial day is when we remember those who have died in our nations service. My grandfather didn’t die on the battlefield, but he was among those who did. And today, I’m thinking about my eight year old self and how my heart pulsed with pain when I found out he died. I’m thinking about all the eight year olds and seven year olds and little ones who have lost their mommy or daddy in a war, and I’m thinking about their hearts and their pain and I wish I could make it all better. But of course, I can’t.

Today, let’s remember those who bled on the battlefield.

And let’s remember those who are left holding the pain.

Father, I pray for those who have lost a loved one to a war. I pray that you would give them arms to cry in, and the freedom to feel their emotions. I pray that you would comfort them, and soothe their spirits with peace. I pray for the little ones who have lost their parents to a war, I pray that you give them great pride in their parents courage and honor. I pray that you keep their little hearts tucked in tightly with yours, and I pray you would surround them with loving arms. Father, today we groan for heaven, for the day when pain will cease and only tearless eyes will be present. Hold our hearts today. In the name of Jesus, amen.

By Sarah Mae

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com sonyamacdesigns

    that’s some beauty in uniform … reminding me of my sweet Daddy … often gone to WAR … ever present at home & yes now he too is present with the FATHER and forever held close my heart.

  • http://madeforreal.com Kerry @ Made For Real

    Beautiful ~ thank you

  • http://www.4onepurpose.com Karen

    This was so poignant! THANKS!

  • http://jsimplylive.blogspot.com/ Maria @ A Blooming Spirit

    This is beautiful. Today I am reminded of kind of the same thing. My father survived the Vietnam war and now he is battling with cancer. But I am so thankful for providence today because God chose my dad to be my earthly father. And I could not have asked for a better father.

  • Kristel

    My grandfather also served in New Guinea. He too is gone from this world now. And as was yours to you, my grandfather was my best friend as a little girl growing up on his farm–till cancer and chemo wracked his once strong frame. I miss him dearly and wish my children could have known him. They will in good time… I only wish it were a little sooner. Thanks for the post.

  • http://motheringfromscratch.com Mothering From Scratch

    Thank you for a child’s perspective…..one that is rich with wisdom.

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    Amen! And sorry about your grandfather. That must have been so difficult for you.

  • http://www.thewordweaver.com Deb Weaver

    Thank you for sharing, Sarah Mae. (((HUGS))) Let those tear fall freely and snuggle into the arms of Jesus.

    Deb Weaver

  • karen

    Amen, and Amen………

    praying for your heart also today, Sarah

  • //www.incourage.me/2011/08/ Betty thompson

    I have a brother-in -law that served in the Vietnam war and two nephews, both were pilots. One flying jets on and off the ships and the other fighter planes and helicopters in Desert Storm war. We thank God they all came home. Even though one is permanently disabled due to his plane crash and now lives in pain daily. we certainly honor our veterans and thank them for their service to our country! ~ Betty

  • Anonymous

    i am so sorry Sarah Mae.
    my grandfather also made it thru the war but alas, died of cancer soon after he came home. i have his pic on my blog today.

    • http://www.agodlyhomemaker.com/ Tami Lewis

      sorry – i forgot to add my information. it’s listed now.

  • http://craftythriftydecoratingwifemom.wordpress.com Janet


  • http://makingajoyfulhome.blogspot.com Amy Lee Ellis

    So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this! We’re surrounded by military bases here, and there are so many stories of love and sacrifice – and hope.

  • Beth Williams


    Thank you for yet another reminder of what this holiday is all about. While it is the start of the summer season, another day away from work–It is marked to remember those who gave their all for us so we could enjoy all this freedom! Just like Jesus did some 2000+ years ago!


  • http://juliesunne.com Julie Sunne

    Love this sweet tribute, Sarah. We must lift up our heroes and their families. Praying with you.

  • http://inthecooloftheday.wordpress.com/ Roxann Morgan

    Such a beautiful post Sarah Mae. This is a wonderful way for us to remember our loved ones and share the burden of those who are hurting. I, too, understand loss and I’m praying for you and for the others who have lost their loved ones.

  • Paulette Curry

    God Bless all the men & women who gave their lives for this country…God Bless all the families who gave their loved ones for this country…God Bless America!

  • http://www.perceptionsandpassions.blogspot.com Kaitlin @ Perceptions & Passions

    Fantastic prayer. I can tell your gifted in prayer!!