Monday, May 28, 2018

We're Out For Memorial Day

Google Dictionary gives us this definition for Memorial Day:

"Me·mo·ri·al Day
məˈmôrēəl ˌdā/
  1. a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May."

  2. However, here in the Appalachians we not only use this day to celebrate those who died while in Active Military Duty, but we use this day to memorialize all of our dead. As a rule, families gather and head to cemeteries on this weekend's Saturday and we "clean up" those cemeteries that don't have regular care. And we place our wreaths and flowers on the graves of our loved ones. So, up here in the mountains, everybody gets Memorial flowers on their graves. Not just those who died in active duty. Those who did die that way usually have a flag flying as well. 

It's been awhile since I've been back here. This is my sweet Mommy's tombstone. That's a picture of her and my Daddy on the stone. Daddy is still with us. He'll be 81 in August and still going strong! But we lost Mommy three years ago in July. I haven't been able to come here very often. I know some of you will understand. Losing your mother isn't easy. No matter how old you are. And every time I go here, it's like ripping a bandage off of a terrible wound. I bleed. And I weep. And I mourn like it just happened yesterday.

Mommy was a U.S. Army (Women's Army Corps) veteran, and was buried with full military honors.  Daddy is a 21 year veteran of the U.S. Navy.  It isn't easy going to this place. But it's bittersweet as it gives us pause to stop and reflect on the life of this woman who did and taught us all so much. A wonderful humanitarian, she didn't know the difference in skin color. She didn't know what inequality was, to her everyone was equal. She gave and gave, and even when she had nothing to give, she gave some more. She never turned a hand away.

If you have a mother who is in heaven today, I hope, whether you can visit her graveside or not, that you will stop and give a few moments in thanks to the One who gave you such a special blessing in your life. Because once they are gone, you grieve forever.

Be safe this day! Enjoy your barbecue, probably the first of the season! And remember those who gave their lives in honor of this great country of ours! God bless you all!

No comments: