Remembering those who’ve gone before us

It was a nice Memorial Day weekend. Hubby, Monkey and I spent some time with family at a local festival and ate some superb pizza at our favorite hole in the wall restaurant. We had a blast, but the early morning and busying ourselves with the family allowed us little time to consider what this day is all about.

My brother has fought in two wars, although I’ve never really found the time to digest the fact that my baby brother is a Veteran. He’s undoubtedly spent today remembering those he fought with, especially one close friend who was killed in Iraq. My grandfather, who passed almost 15 years ago, fought in World War II as a Naval aviation radio operator.

I never met Hubby’s father, who also served during World War II. He passed away a week before Hubby graduated from high school, just over 20 years ago. He’s buried at the local National Cemetery, and we go visit him every year around this time. Last year was special, since we knew Monkey was on the way. We brought him an ultrasound picture of the little guy – back before we even knew it was a little guy. This year was even more special, because Monkey got to meet his Grandpa. He sat on the grave, touched his headstone, said hi to his late Papa.

It was a bittersweet day. Hubby and other family members who remember him traded stories and pictures, while Monkey learned what it was like to play in the grass. I’m glad we took Monkey last weekend, so that we could appreciate our time at the grave in peace and quiet, without the Memorial weekend crowds causing undue stress.

This afternoon, I’m returning to that calm place, recalling those that I was lucky enough to have in my life, even if only for a short time. My grandparents; a few childhood friends whose lives ended all too soon; a sweet (but odd) old man in our church choir who passed away from a heart attack just a few weeks ago. Hubby and I found out about this last one while sitting in the pews at church waiting for Monkey to be baptized several weeks ago. Another bittersweet day.

I could amble on for hours on this topic. Instead, I think I’ll go enjoy a nap with Hubby and Monkey. I hope you’ve enjoyed your Memorial Day, and spent just a few moments honoring the memory of those who’ve gone before you.

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