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How my life has changed forever!!!

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2006: How my life has changed forever!!!
By Stace on Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 09:18 pm:

Hi! Just wanted to share a story of an experience I had the other day that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

On Wednesday October 11, I attended a funeral for LCPL Christopher Benedict Cosgrove III. He was a Marine who was wounded in action and died on October first in Iraq. He was 23 years old.

I did not know him personally, he was the second cousin of the guy that I date. But, let me just tell you all how amazing this funeral was. I hope none of you have ever had to attend a funeral for someone who was wounded in action, but if you did, I am sure you can relate. It was taken place in Madison, NJ. I have never been so touched in my life. Well, first off I have never seen so many Marines in one place at once. After the funeral home there was a procession which took about 45 minutes. All the family had limos which were lead by police on motorcycles. The procession took you on along a main road which went pass his old highschool, his house, etc. I have never seen a community come together the way this town did. All of the flags were at half-staff. It's was absolutly amazing. I can not even describe the feeling of sitting in the limo and watching all the people standing out on the road waving their flags or saluting or just holding their hand over their hearts. All the elementary school staff and students were out. All of the highschool students and staff. People along the streets who were stopped in traffic bc the roads were closed at the time of the procession would just get out of their car and salute. Oh my gosh just thinking back on it brings tears to my eyes. I have NEVER EVER seen anything like it. Then, we go to the church and there had to be about 500 people waiting outside. All the Marines were lined up. It was beautiful. So, we were in Mass and at the end it was time for the Eulogy. This was the time where I really lost it. First a few fellow Marines got up to speak. Then his step-mom, then his fiance and then his mother. There were so strong, I know I could have NEVER got up there to speak. Everyone's words were so touching, but especially his mother's. With her eyes filled with tears and her voice crackling she spoke such words that I will keep with me forever. All I kept thinking while she was up there was how thankful I was to have my son. And how I should never ever take him or any of my family members for granted. Because you never know what God has in store for us. She said anyone out there who has kids, please go home and kiss and hug them. Chris was her only child and was supposed to come home in 2 weeks from Iraq. He was getting married in August of 2007. But, his funeral was held at the Church that his wedding was going to take place. From what was said about him, he absolutly loved being a Marine. He was well known in his community.

I just needed to share with you all my experience. It was the saddest most beautiful experience ever. I will forever have a different outlook on Marines and anyone in the military for that matter. They are very special people and they should be given the upmost respect always. Chris died for our country and for that...I will be forever grateful!!!

By Dawnk777 on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 09:41 am:

That had to have been hard. I'm sure I would have been bawling. {{{HUGS}}}

By Dana on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 10:18 am:

Wow, I have goose bumps and tears floating in my eyes.

By Bea on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 11:26 am:

This is to honor the families of all those who so couragously serve.


I am a military wife/mother/sister/fiancee -- a member of that sisterhood of women who have had the courage to watch their men go into battle, and the strength to survive until their return. Our sorority knows no rank, for we earn our membership with a marriage license, traveling over miles, or over nations to begin a new life with our military husbands.
Within days, we turn a barren, echoing building into a home, and though our quarters are inevitably white-walled and unpapered, we decorate with the treasures of our travels, for we shop the markets of the globe. Using hammer and nail, we tack our pictures to the wall, and our roots to the floor as firmly as if we had lived there for a lifetime.
We hold a family together by the bootstraps, and raise the best of "brats," instilling in them the motto, "Home is togetherness," whether motel, or guest house, apartment or duplex. As military wives we soon realize that the only good in "Good-bye" is the "Hello again." For as salesmen for freedom, our husbands are often on the road, at sea, or in the sky, leaving us behind for a week, a month, an assignment.
During separations we guard the home front, existing until the homecoming. Unlike our civilian counterparts, we measure time, not by years, but by tours -- married at Knox, a baby born at Portsmouth, a special anniversary at Yorktown, a promotion in McDill. We plant trees, and never see them grow tall, work on projects completed long after our departure, and enhance our community for the betterment of those who come after us. We leave a part of ourselves at every stop.
Through experience, we have learned to pack a suitcase, a car or hold baggage, and live indefinitely from the contents within and though our fingers are sore from the patches we have sewn, and the silver we have shined, our hands are always ready to help those around us.
Women of peace, we pray for a world in harmony, for the flag that leads our men into battle, will also blanket them in death. Yet we are an optimistic group, thinking of the good, and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday, while anticipating tomorrow.
Never rich by monetary standards, our hearts are overflowing with a wealth of experiences common only to those united by the special tradition of military life. We pass on this legacy to every military bride, welcoming her with outstretched arms, with love and friendship, from one sister to another, sharing in the bounty of our unique, fulfilling military way of life.

By Stace on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 12:03 pm:

It really was such a beautiful sight to see the community come together the way they did. I will play that day back in my head for as long as I live and be so very thankful for all of the men and women who fight for our country. It was truly an honor to meet his family and be part of the saddest, but most special day!

By Bellajoe on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 07:26 pm:

It sounds amazing Stace.

How sad that instead of having the wedding at the church, they had his funeral. :(

By Hol on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 07:29 pm:

Oh my incredibly SAD!! His poor Mom and all of his other folks who loved him. I am sitting here, choking up.

I am glad, however, that bystanders stopped what they were doing to pay homage to him. I'm afraid that we all go about our daily lives and forget that our young people are making the ultimate sacrifice. Whether you agree that we should be over there or not, we must never lose sight of the fact that these are OUR children...the young people of America, who enlisted and are willing to go into harms way to serve our country. They are our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters.

His poor fiance as well. A marriage that will never happen.

I urge all of the Moms on MV to say a prayer tonight for this family, and for Chris's comrades. Also, for all of our other troops that are serving everywhere in the world. Most of all, let us pray to guide Chris to the everlasting Light of God where he will never again feel pain or fear.

My DS, Daniel, didn't die in a foreign land but he did die on active duty in the Air Force at the age of 20. He had been married thirteen months. No children. He was buried back here in RI from our home church. He, too, had a motorcycle police escort in front of his hearse. People respectfully stood accross the street and watched the honour guard saluting his casket, as his comrades carried him into and out of the church. His commanding officer and sergeant major came all the way from Nebraska to deliver his eulogy. An Air Force chaplain read, at my DH's request, a poem by General Douglas MacArthur, called "Build Me a Son". A bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" as they carried him into the church, and the organist played "Battle Hymn of the Republic" as they carried him out.

As I laid my head on his flag draped casket in the foyer of the church, before the service, I felt tremendous pride mixed in with my crushing grief.

I will forever be proud of my oldest son (and all of my children). I miss him SO much, so I can relate to Chris' folks.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

By Stace on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 08:07 pm:

Holly, I am so sorry for you loss. I can not imagine how hard that must have been for you. You sure can relate to Chris's family in a way that many people can not. You are right, I think many people lose sight of what these young men and woman do for all of us. Honestly, I know I was one of them, up until last Wednesday. But, I assure you that I will never lose sight again. They are amazing people! Thank you for what your son has done and I will forever keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

By Hol on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 08:52 pm:

Thank you for your kind words, Stacey. I see that you work with special needs children. Four years ago, my DH and I adopted two teen-aged boys. Because of the abuse that they suffered at a young age, they have special needs. We have had some wonderful people, like yourself, who have been in our life to help the boys with their transition to life with our family, and with getting them needed services in school. God bless you for the work that you do.

By Stace on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 09:45 pm:

Thank you! My passion is working with special needs children. I always found myself wanting to work with children, especially special needs. My client that I have now has autism and a seizure disorder. That is wonderful that you were able to find it in your heart to adopt two teenage boys. How are they making out? Are they biological brothers? I truly do count my blessings everyday I come home to my "normal" son. After working with special needs all day long, it makes me so very grateful of the life that I do have with my son.

By Hol on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 10:54 pm:

My boys are SUCH a blessing to me. Yes, they are half brothers; same biological Mom. Shawn had nine placements before he came to us, Mike had eight. Some were in foster homes (including an ABUSIVE foster home, if you can imagine), but most were group homes and shelters.

They are AMAZING young men. They were 13 and 14 when they came to us. Now they are almost 18 and 19. Shawn is in his first year of college, studying radiography. Mike is a senior in high school, in a small, private school for children with special needs. Thay have come a long, long way in four years. They just needed someone to love them and know that, no matter what, they weren't going anywhere, anymore.

Mike was the first one to manifest his problems. He is more open about his feelings. When they first came, with their IEP's, our public school system TOTALLY ignored the IEP. Mike had been in a small classroom setting and they threw him into mainstream. He melted down. He felt threatened and scared by the other kids because he was the "new" kid. After a court battle, and a HUGE legal bill, we won our right to place him in the appropriate school, and have the school district pay for it. Mike has ADD, post traumatic stress disorder, and a slight Asperger's spectrum. He has learning disabilities and never enjoyed reading until the tenth grade. He is an A/B student and will be apprenticing next year to be a plumber. The state office of Rehabilitation Services is on board to facilitate that.

Shawn was more reserved and melted down AFTER the adoption was finalized. He couldn't keep up in school. His IEP called for him to have help getting organized everyday. We were told by the school, "We don't DO that here. This is high school". So, we pulled him out in tenth grade and home schooled him. He graduated this past June and is attending the community college. He has ADHD and post traumatic stress disorder. He is bright, but he has trouble with focus and concentration. We have had some great CIS people and social workers, psychologists and a great psychiatrist. We have also had a wonderful minister, Boy Scout leaders and friends to welcome and help the boys.

Neither of them drive yet because DH and I don't feel that they are mature enough yet. We MAY let Mike drive in the Spring. Shawn will take a little longer, even though he is a year older. However, I enjoy the time that we spend together. I never thought I'd have a chance to be a Mom again and drive "Mom's Taxi". My daughter is grown and married (34) and I am Grandma to a beautiful 21 month old grandaughter.

The boys and I laugh and go see stupid movies together. We watch comedies and we all have the same sense of humour. God sent to me, as did my son Danny.

We have no reason to believe that they will not be able to grow into productive and successful young men. :)

By Hol on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 08:06 am:

I meant to say that God sent THEM to me, but I think you knew that. :)

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