31 May 2010
This holiday weekend has been full of surprises. Much to do but also some remarkably quiet moments. I spent Saturday at my parents doing some yard work for them and then generally just enjoying the day. The photos above are from that day. Yesterday was an odd day, the one full of surprises. I have a brother who, every Memorial Day weekend, goes to the cemetaries where our grandparents are buried to clean their headstones, weed, plant new flowers. And also those of soldiers. This year he took his family and I went with them.
I hadn't been to the graves of my grandparents in years. Shame on me. I sat beside them in the sun and closed my eyes. I suddenly felt time pulling me backwards, giving glimpes of myself that I had long forgotten. Visits to those same grandparents, picnics at their homes, the smell of my grandfather's pipe. I must have been smiling at one point because my six year old nephew asked me where I was, what I was thinking.
That led to telling him stories of when I was his age which led to more questions from him, as is the way with a six year old. He and I took a walk with his sister, stopping along the way to visit soldier's graves, the two of them asking questions about each one. How old were they when they died, which war did they fight in, their names, did they have family. Very serious questions from a six and twelve year old. My niece with a tablet writing some of their names down so that she could remember them on Memorial Day.
Later in the evening I went to a bonfire at the home of another brother. He lost his wife two years ago and had set a chair in the shade of a tree and that was her chair for the night. I've heard her laughter in the oddest places a few times since she died and I swear I heard it again last night while I was sitting by the fire. I think she would be happy to see her home filled with fun again.
And so, today is Memorial Day. One of my uncles who died earlier this year is being honored with a parade and a service in the town where he lived and died. I've done my remembering for the weekend. Life is waiting. My family will be gathered today at my parents home for a cook-out and the first bocce tournament of the season. I'm looking forward to seeing the newest member of our family, Olivia Miabella, only a week old. Those who are gone will understand why we are happy today.
Posted by Diana Lee