A Military Way Of Life

I have lived in San Diego for over 30 years, so it’s easy to forget that this is such a military town. It is a way of life here, something that too often is taken for granted.

I have been around the military and military families most of my adult life. Living in San Diego, most of us have friends and business associates who are, or were, in the military. I think all branches of the service are represented here, but mostly Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Once when we were attending a Century 21 event in Coronado and were staying at the Hotel Del Coronado, we were awakened about 4:00 am to Navy Seals storming the beach as part of their training. We got up and had our coffee on the balcony while watching them. It was awesome!

I had the privilege of attending a client’s Retirement Ceremony from the Navy on Friday. She has served as a Navy Nurse for 22 years. A remarkable woman, I don’t think I have ever seen her without a smile.  She is an optimist, a lover of animals, and has a great laugh. When she moved to San Diego, it was with the goal of finding a home that would enable her to reach her ultimate goal of expanding her dog rescue organization. We found the perfect place in Dehesa Valley.

While I have seen it before, the Passing the Flag – Old Glory Ceremony, always makes me cry. It is so moving. And, this week, it reminded me how honored I am to be able to work with so many clients and friends who serve in the military, whether active duty or retired. Why I am so glad I can help them with buying or selling a home, and help to ensure their move is as stress free as possible. That we find a place where their families will be happy and secure while they are deployed…perhaps a home they can return to at retirement…an investment in their future.

If you have never seen the ceremony, take a few minutes to watch. I think you will be proud of our military men and women, too!

     My beautiful mother-in-law…

Jim & MomMy beautiful mother-in-law…she turned 90 years old in November and it was while attending her 90th birthday celebration in November that we realized that her “forgetfulness” was really dementia.  She brought her four boys up attending the local Methodist church, but she was raised a Christian Scientist and those beliefs still have a hold on her. She does not like going to the doctor and has avoided them as much as possible in her later years.
Mom had a happy marriage, full of the usual ups and downs, but she and my husband’s father had a good life. They had four sons whom they cherished, loved, and celebrated as unique individuals.  She became a widow 20 years ago and 15 years ago found love again with a widower who lives nearby. She has been truly blessed in loving and being loved by two truly good men.
Now we watch this lovely, graceful woman as she battles dementia. We feel blessed that she is happy and that she laughs at her memory lapses, she isn’t angry or distressed. We are happy she still knows us and trusts us.  As the fog of this disease shrouds her mind, there are still moments when she seems like her old self. And, there are moments when I think she knows exactly what is happening.  As we talked after a wonderful Saturday morning brunch, she said, “I don’t remember my age, but I know I am really getting old”, and she seemed content in that knowledge. After all, she has led a happy life.
As we said our goodbyes, the twinkling eyes and lovely smile are still there. I hope they will be there the next time we see her. How I will miss them if they are not.