A friend calls tears “liquid love.”
I certainly found myself welling up several times Monday during the second Honor Flight luncheon the Woodson Art Museum has hosted for the spouses of veterans traveling and touring war memorials in Washington DC.
What an emotion-saturated day it must be for these couples. A packed itinerary bracketed by a 6:30 am departure and 9:30 pm return flight would be a full day for anyone. Imagine what it must’ve been like for Arline Baughman, 93, whose husband is 94. She said the day brought back many memories of parting with her husband when their son was two-weeks old and their time apart early in their 72-year marriage.
Yet the three hours visiting with one another during lunch, touring the NASA | ART exhibition on view, and creating lunar landscape artwork were marked mainly by laughter.
And that’s the goal – for them to set aside any cares for a few hours and enjoy a relaxing gallery experience.
Several spouses created lasting memories in the company of their daughters or other family members. Others got acquainted with the Never Forgotten Honor Flight and Museum volunteers who joined each table and led clusters of women on informal tours to see space-related artworks.
I wonder if some pondered the parallels between spouses seeing astronauts off into space and husbands off to war. If they did, they chose not to dwell on those thoughts in casual conversation. Perhaps they preferred to wait until spouses were home, safe and sound.
What a privilege it is to honor these spouses who sacrificed much while their partners were away, yet who reflect on that time and exhibit humor, grace, and amazingly dry eyes.