Humbled and Thankful
So. In an effort to make the house more "sellable," we gutted our den/office/scrapbook room this weekend. With it's black ceilings, gold walls, and MU crap strung out everywhere, I couldn't get it painted fast enough. ;)
The room has been so full for so long that we had completely forgotten it had a window seat in it! What a little prize! So, after a long laboring weekend, we finished our room and I now have the most perfect reading nook you've ever laid eyes on. Ok, so that may be an exaggeration.. but it's pretty sweet.
Last night, I put the kids to bed, (and the husband) made myself a whole batch of cinnamon rolls with the orange glaze, and a cup of hazelnut coffee. I added a splash of cream just for fun! I mean, why not! Let's live a little!! I grabbed the book I bought over a year ago and STILL haven't finished and headed to my nook.
Now...you will make fun and not be in shock at all, but I'm currently reading "Then Bud told Barry who told Bob: The greatest Oklahoma Sooner stories ever told." I know half of you just fell asleep, but I have to tell you, I have laughed, I have smiled, and last night, I literally hit my knees in uncontrollable sobs. If you know even a little about football, you probably know who Bud Wilkinson is. One of the greatest, if not THE greatest coaches in college football. Ever. Period. Anywhere. He holds so many records it's unreal. He holds the longest winning streak. 47 games. FORTY-SEVEN games! I can't even wrap my mind around that! There's so much I could say about Bud, but I'll spare you all. I know that none of you probably love football as much as I do, nor Oklahoma Football at that.
But, I learned of a story that I hadn't heard about. (And shocked I haven't.) I learned the story of Vietnam Veteran James Robert "Bob" Kalsu. Bob fell in love with his wife Jan on their second date while he was in college. (Playing football for OU.) They married shortly after OU played in the Orange Bowl of Bob's senior year and that November, they welcomed their first child, a daughter, into the family. As part of Bob's ROTC obligations, he had enlisted and was soon sent to Vietnam. When his daughter was 17 months old, Bob was able to be home for a bit with his family. His wife was 7 months pregnant with their second child. They were spending their week together on vacation because Bob had to report back to duty the following week. As Jan kissed her husband goodbye, she sent a prayer up to God. "God, please bring him back to me. But, if for some reason you need him more than I do, please let this baby be a boy so that he can carry on the family name." (Bob was an only child.)
Two months later, Jan gave birth to a son. Robert Todd Kalsu. As she was resting in the hospital, in walked her doctor and sat down in a chair beside her. He took her hand in his and said to her, "Jan, there are two soldiers here to see you."
We all know what that means. We don't even have to be military to know what it stands for. No words have to even be said when soldiers arrive at your door. But, with tears running down a soldiers face, he said them anyway... But Jan didn't hear them. Instead, she screamed out loud for the statistician. And when they arrived, she promptly changed her newborn sons name to James Robert Kalsu Jr.
Jan went on to raise her kids alone. Not only alone, but right. She raised them up to be amazing people. She made sure they knew the sacrifice that their father had made for his country. And for his family.
I sat there in my little nook at 1am this morning just thinking about that. I can't imagine losing my husband. And I certainly can't imagine finding out while in the hospital after having given birth to my child. I like to think that I love this country. But, would I lay my life down for it? I'm not sure I could. And I'm not sure I could stand up and be the woman that Jan was. Because as the book says, "If Bob was a hero, Jan was a saint." I have such respect for Bob Kalsu. He was the only professional athlete to lose his life in that war. He has more buildings, awards, clubs, etc named after him than any other person who's ever played the game. And rightfully so.
I just want to take the opportunity to thank our Veterans. Those who have gone before us. Those who are walking those dirt filled shoes now. And those children who will one day wear the uniform. You are everything. You are higher than I will ever be. And you have my 100% love, admiration, and respect.
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"God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved."- Psalms 46:5
Whitney B. Cromley
Follower of Jesus.