I lost someone too…

By, Irene R. Shuck

This past weekend I spent promoting my product called Wallet Wishes.  I set up in the foyer of our local Walmart.  Next to me was Debbie Higgins, mother of Fallen Marine LCpl.  James W. Higgins Jr., who died a week before he was to return home.  His last wish to his mother in a letter that was shipped with his belongings was for her to build a Memorial for all of the Fallen Service Men and Women from Vietnam until now.   He had already designed it. 

Debbie was an inspiration to watch this weekend.  You can tell she is determined to make sure her son’s wish will come to pass.  She already has the land donated.  The memorial will be built on 25 Acres right here in Frederick, Maryland.  The Ground Breaking will be September 27, 2009.

While I was sitting there this weekend, we were selling Wallet Wishes to the people that were coming out of the store.   They each wrote a personal note to a Military Branch of their choice.   One little boy had written, “ Be safe, find a good hiding spot and come home soon”.   Another read “From one service man to another, thank you for your service”.  Some simply wrote “Merry Christmas” or just simply “Thank You”.

Debbie’s Grandmother, Betty Jo came to help out this weekend.  She came both days and worked the booth that held the jars of donations for her Grandson’s Inspiration.  The National Fallen Heroes Memorial.  Betty Jo is 83 years old and can keep up with the best of them. 

As I sat at my table, I just happen to glance over at Betty Jo.  A tall gentleman in his 50’s came up to her.  He pointed to the photos on the table and then to himself.  Right in that moment, I knew he was deaf.  I watched as he tried to relay to Betty Jo about his loved one that he had lost.  After a few minutes, Betty Jo pointed to the photo of her Grandson LCpl.  James W. Higgins Jr.  and motioned that he belonged to her and she had  lost him too.  In that moment, they both hugged,  tears welled up in each of their eyes as did mine.  Then he went on his way.  I felt like I was prying, at the same time I felt so blessed to watch two people connect on a level of understanding so deep  that unless you’ve lost someone you cannot know the heartache and love these two people shared in that moment of time.    I hope that today on Veterans Day,  you take the time to say “Thank You” to a service member.  I love you to a family member and lend a helping hand to someone in need. 

Visit The National Fallen Heroes Memorial Website.