Sunday, May 25, 2008

In Memory and With Much Thanks....

This weekend, I have been thinking a lot about the true reason for Memorial Day--a day to set aside to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. I say a prayer for the family members who mourn their loss, as well as for the survivors of war who continue to live with physical and/or mental disabilities as a result of war. I also make an effort to live more fully, savoring every moment, knowing that I have what I have as the result of many others' losses. It's both the least--and the most--I can do to show my gratitude.
I also think about loved ones who have passed on. As a child, I remember gathering up flowers in water buckets and taking them around to the graveyards in our hometown where family members and friends rested: My Grandpa Fullerton, whom I never met; Great Grandma Baker; our former landlady, Mrs. Pool, who used to make ceramic crafts for my birthday presents while she was in the nursing home. These are just a few, and there are more now. I won't be able to make it home to place flowers on their graves this year--I haven't for a long time. But I have it in my mind, and the memories of doing it as a child. Maya asked me today about the purpose of the Memorial Day holiday. I explained it to her, and told her about what we used to do every Memorial Day back in Ottawa. She wanted to go and put flowers on graves, too, but we don't know anyone buried here in Minneapolis, so we decided to set some flowers out for loved ones here at home. We picked some lilacs and put them in a vase in the kitchen.
We also went outside and watered the Lilies of the Valley,
which remind me of my Grandma Baker (Dran) who passed away Christmas 2006. We talked about Dran (Maya's Great Grandma Baker) and Bubs (Maya's Great Grandma Sylvia.) It's nice to remember people in the spring, when things are coming to life again. It reminds us that life goes on, and that those who are no longer with us continue to live within us...and all around us.