I just finished watching the PBS Memorial Day tribute. I was moved to tears hearing the stories read by actors on behalf of our servicemen. Truly, we should all do more than we do to honor these men and women.
I drove to the cemetery on Sunday. I first drove through the veteran's section, past the row of American flags flying in the breeze. It was an honor to think of the men who sacrificed but my heart was most heavy for the family members who were left behind, without fathers, without husbands, without sons. I don't mean, at all, to neglect the women who have worn uniforms either, those losses must in some ways seem even more cruel, if that were possible.
Then I drove to my grandmother, grandfather and step-grandfather's grave sites and decorated them. Then to my step-dad, Cal. Oh, how I loved him! My mother, being ill was not up to going with me and I believe it was the first time I had ever gone alone, without her company. I felt lost without her, like a torch was being passed. I do hope to drive her through next week, maybe when I take her to the lab on Tuesday.
Before I left I passed back by those flags flying on a breezy day, stopped toward the end and wished I had my camera to catch a picture of the last five flags fluttering with the hills and plains behind them, it would have made a lovely picture, but, you know I still have that picture in my mind, as I will have a picture in my mind of what that young man saw the day he watched seven of his brothers die in Iraq. A picture may, indeed, be worth a thousand words but words are powerful tools, I'd have trouble believing that pictures are more powerful.
Say a prayer for those left behind today, for those struggling with the loss of their son or daughter, husband or wife, sister or brother, father or mother.
I was thinking about the story mom used to tell me of my grandmother and great aunts sitting around the table in my grandmother's kitchen a week before Memorial Day. She tells me they made crepe paper flowers and then dipped them in parafin wax to preserve them. I can just imagine them sitting for a week, every day, preparing flowers, dipping them in wax and oh, what stories they must have told! I'll bet they talked about the family members who had passed before them and shared many sweet memories about them. Those old days, balmy, I'm sure, without any air conditioning, grandma probably had to take time out from patching sacks for the feed mill.
I'd like to try making those crepe paper flowers someday.