Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day 2010!

I believe that as we live each year of our lives, especially those formative ones from childhood till the mid 30s, shape us and make us who we are, and believing this I think Memorial Day means different things to each of us. I certainly think that those who have/had family in the military that were hurt or even killed it can be a bitter thing or a hero thing or a very deeply mournful thing. I think those who themselves have served in the military look at it from yet another perspective. Then there are those who never had anyone in the military that use this time to remember loved ones who have passed on. So I believe that depending on our experiences Memorial Day can be a veritable smorgasbord of emotion all tied to who we are and what we have experienced.

I don’t belong to a military family at all, for the most part my Dad who served in WWII doesn’t talk about it and that is a part of his life he would rather forget I believe. I do have a brother in law that served in Nam in the Air Force and was in the reserves for a long time but is now retired. My brother Sam served a few years in the Navy where he was on one of the first nuclear subs. He was sworn to secrecy. I don’t know just how patriotic these individuals are as they aren’t vocal about serving their country and don’t visually display their patriotism. I don’t tend to either and I look at Memorial day as a day for a pic nic and to kick off summer, I don’t even tend graves of loved ones but does that make me less of a good person?? I don’t think so. I love America and I pray on a regular basis for all our men and women serving our country so bravely. I respect our troops and pray for their families because I know if it were my son or daughter put in harms way I would be a basket case with worry. So I want to say I try to do my part by prayinf for all who serve not just our troops but the loved ones waiting and praying for the safe return, who in a way are serving our country by being supportive from home.

That being said I would also like to share just how luke warm I am about everything I used this weekend to work on a home improvement project of sorts and to clean my house and sleep in and eat pic-nic food; however some people get a sense of peace or something from tending graves of relatives that have gone on. I noticed it is more of the older generation doing this and when they can’t do it usually someone younger does it in their steed but mostly for the person who they love that can’t do it any longer than for a purpose that they have of their own.

My parents never tended graves, my Mom is R. Catholic and believes that the soul is what makes a person and if you really want to feel close to someone who has passed on, church is where you go to light a candle and say a prayer. You know the whole dust to dust thing. I know my hubby takes his mom every year now that she can’t do it any longer. They went yesterday and my mother in law just sat in the car. She bought one plant to put on each grave, of which there were 10 at 4 different cemeteries. I did ask Don if he would be doing this after she didn’t want to go any more and he said he didn’t think so that he would put some flowers on his brother’s and parents graves but that would be it as they are just across the road from here. I was wondering if I will do anything for my Mom when the time comes. Dad is donating his body to science so no grave there. If I weren’t to afraid of fire I would like to be cremated then the kids could just burn some of my favorite scrap booking paper and dump it in with me and I would be happy for all eternity! (said with a soft laugh)

So as Memorial Day comes to a close I reflect on what it means to me and realize that even though I don’t show it I have a real sense of pride when I see all those flags in the cemeteries and the red flags with the stars on them for families who have a loved one in the service. I am deeply grateful for the work that they do and the pride and sense of purpose they do it with! I am proud to say I’m an American even though I may not be vocal or visual about it. I will keep doing my part praying and donating to organizations that help our troops and their families.

I hope everyone has had a good Memorial Day and observed it in they way they find most meaningful.