June 30, 2004 - "While Mother's Wait at Home" by ME Allen & "Last Flight" by Roger Cook
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"Freedom is not an unlimited license, an unlimited choice, or an unlimited opportunity. Freedom is first of all a responsibility before the God from whom we come." ~Alan Keyes
Dont' forget to vote for our newest Writer of the Month! www.2theheart.com/vote . Our selected writer will be announced Monday! Enjoy Mary-Emma's story of families and patriotism and Roger's beautiful poem in tribute to WWII pilots. Watch for our next patriotic story on Friday!
WHILE MOTHERS WAIT AT HOME
By Mary Emma Allen
As I sorted through family memorabilia, I discovered my grandmother's heart shaped pin with "Mother" scrolled across in gold. Hanging from the script was a tiny golden heart with purple stone in the center.
"Nanny's special pin!" I exclaimed.
I hadn't thought about it for years. Now the pin brought back memories of my maternal grandmother waiting throughout those years when my Uncle Al, her younger son, served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. This bachelor son, who wasn't needed on the farm, traveled further from home than any others in the family to help secure his country's freedom.
When, as a child, I asked Nanny about her pretty pin, she told me it reminded her to keep Alfred in her prayers and to ask God for his safe return. I recall listening to Nanny pray for Uncle Al's safe return. I often joined her nightly Bible reading as she sought comfort and consolation and she put her son's life in God's hands.
The years were long and worrisome for her while Alfred served as an aircraft mechanic, first in Arizona and California, then in Guam. He came home safe to her while many soldiers didn't for their mothers. Her thankfulness was unbounded that God had spared her son.
As I looked still further through the memorabilia of my parents' lives, I found a small flag...two red stripes on either side, with a white one in the center and blue star on the white. I recognized Uncle Charles' flag.
Many years before I was born, my father's brother served in World War I, in a calvary unit after he graduated from veterinary college. However, I recall my mom telling me this was the flag Grandma, my father's mother, hung in the window in recognition of a son at war.
Grandma had packed the small flag in a trunk with Uncle Charles' military uniform...remembrances of that earlier war when a son also served and God brought him safely home.
These items from two world wars that my grandmothers saved emphasize the plight of mothers throughout the ages when their sons go off to defend their country. These mothers, my grandmothers, experienced the anxieties of mothers everywhere when sons fight to save freedom for their country.
Although both young men came home safely, their lives were changed. They always remembered this era when they served in the military. This experience meant so much to Uncle Al, that he saved his uniform and expressed his wish to be buried in it, when he died at age 85.
I now have these keepsakes, a mother's pin and another's flag, from former generations as part of my heritage in recognition of uncles who served and their mothers left at home who waited for wars to end...ties which bind these women to centuries of other mothers of mankind throughout the Bible and history.
(c)2002 Mary Emma Allen
Mary Emma Allen is a former military wife, whose husband Jim was an Air Force pilot. She often writes about family memories and how they bind the generations together. Her books include, "When We Become the Parent to Our Parents," "Tales of Adventure & Discovery" for children, "The Magic of Patchwork" for children and adults. Her work also appears in several anthologies.
"The Last Flight"
by Roger Cook
They came from every direction
From families large and small.
They launched out on a mission
And answered their nation's call.
They flew on wings made of steel,
And the dangers of war they faced.
Strong hands controlled their craft
As those powerful engines raced.
In time the great conflict was won
Although costing a terrible price,
As too many members of the band
Made life's ultimate sacrifice.
Now time has become the enemy,
Years have so quickly passed by,
Witnessed by losses in the ranks
Of that old gang that used to fly.
Yet in the minds of all who remain
Keen remembrance of days before
When they took great metal birds,
And through the clouds did soar.
There is one very special mission
All old pilots are required to take.
The call comes from Headquarters,
It's a flight that we all must make.
This one last flight is like no other,
For our God has prepared the way.
He alone will determine the place,
And choose the time and the day.
When Operations sends out the call,
Those pilots who have sailed on air
Will take their last earthly flight,
To a place that God has prepared.
Roger Allen Cook
Dedicated to the members of the WWII Hump Pilot's Association and American aviators everywhere. Rev. Cook is the son of Floyd T. Cook, pilot, 12th Combat Cargo Squadron, 3rd Group, Myitkyina, Burma. Roger is an educator, minister and author of a book of devotional poetry entitled "Sailing by Grace" which is available at Amazon.com. He is happily married and has four children and four grandchildren. You can find other items from Roger in the 2the heart archives, such as "Sailing by Grace", "Authored By Grace", "The Banquet", "All of Her, All of Him", etc. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org