Why I like Memorial Day

It’s a ritual of the living.

We set aside a time to remember.

First, those who have fallen

defending freedom.

Then the others.

The people who dance in our dreams

and live in our memories.

I always wonder if all small towns in America are the same?

We begin with momma now.

She gets live flowers

and let’s face it, the prettiest.

We don’t stay long.

I don’t think she is there…

she’s too busy to linger there.

Then we go to the grandparents.

They get real flowers, too.

I only knew my grandma L

and I only have a few memories of her.

Her and grandpa get the yellow flowers –

I don’t know why,

they just do.

My cousin who died before I was born

is next to them.

She gets some artificial flowers in her vase.

We go to grandma T next.

She gets the purple flowers.

I don’t know why

she just does.

She died before I was born.

Her husband chose to be buried next to his second wife

so he gets artificial flowers.

There is an empty spot next to grandma now

that makes me a little… angry

No, too much time has passed to still be angry.

I’m just disgusted.

My dad also puts some artificial flowers on a

forgotten neglected stone.

They were friends of his family in their long forgotten coal camp.

We go to the other cemetery next

and stop at both of my mom’s grandmas.

One died when I was four.

The other died before I was born.

They were important to her though

and they featured in many of mom’s stories.

It’s tradition.

They get artificial flowers

and they always will while I’m doing it.

I leave some flowers for my piano teacher.

She believed in me

even though she probably shouldn’t have.

My dad left some flowers on his

Aunt Margaret’s.

“She had a beautiful singing voice,”

he’s told us.

She was important to him so I will carry on the tradition.

I think that’s a part of Memorial Day.

The flowers and flags are more for us.

It’s our way of sending a message –

“You are not forgotten.

Your dash on the stone matters

to us.

We will make sure you are not forgotten.

We will remember you

and share your story.”

© 2015 ck’s days


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