THANK YOU - Jul 20th 2009 @ 10:52AM
by Matt Stone
“Thank You”


There have only been few times in my life when I have been at a loss for words. I can distinctly remember three of those times.  A few months after I was married, two of my high school buddies were killed in a car accident. Another time was visiting Gettysburg with another friend. We were the only ones there at the time looking at the battlefield trying to absorb exactly what had happened and how many men had died. A few days later, we visited Arlington National Cemetery and the sight was similarly overwhelming.

Now I’ve never been a crier, but there have been a few occasion when it’s too hard to hold back the tears. When I looked up and saw my bride coming down the aisle, the death of my grand dad, Lee Roy Stone, a gentle soul, the birth of my children and the day I stood at Arlington and over looked the sea of white crosses. It was a sobering experience.

What pain and suffering had been experienced?  What sacrifices had been made?  The loss of a son or daughter, a spouse, a parent, a friend or family member, is someone lying there that could fulfill more than one of these roles?

It was staggering to take it all in.  I had read about Arlington in books, seen it on television, and heard other people talk about it, but it fell short of how humble it made me fill that day as I drank in the sacrifice that day that was paid by others. I could not hold back the tears that rolled down my cheek that day.

Almost thirty years have passed since I’ve stood on the grounds of Arlington that day and I’m not even close to being near the end of my life, but I faintly hear the land calling my name, as it does for all men at an appointed time.

As many times as I’ve held my wife, I’m always ready to embrace her again.  As many times as I’ve hugged my daughters, I’m always ready for another.  As many times as I’ve kissed my son on the cheek, I always hope and pray it’s not the last. As many books as I have read, I just want to read one more.  As many sunrises as I’ve seen, I know one more wouldn’t hurt. Oh, the ownership of land - let it be said of me that I was a good steward.

Sacrifice - that’s what those white crosses represent and that’s what has made my way, our way, of life possible. Never take it for granted or fail to thank someone in uniform and their families for their sacrifices.

Oh land, I hear you calling. I am not ready. I will be embraced by you soon enough, but until then, I’m thankful for the life that you have provided me, thankful for the family I’ve been entrusted with. I can scarcely take it in sometimes.  Parrish, Jeff, I have not forgotten you. The solitude of Gettysburg is forever in my mind, and the reflection of those white crosses is still embedded in my mind’s eye. Thank you.


Naturally Yours,     

Matt Stone



           Natural Regeneration
           Natural Instint
           THANK YOU
           Ancillary Benefits
           The Thinker
           The Game Plan
           Natural Man
           My Shadow
           Mossy State of Mind
           Life Style
           Feral Hogs
           Emerald Sea
           Dominant Male
           Buying Made Simple
           Becoming One
           Around The Bend
           Already Gone
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