Monday, May 30, 2011

Never Forgetting

Daughter #2 and I came up to Loveland for Memorial Day. The rest of the family had other obligations.
Because of the rain, Mom didn't have much blooming in the yard, so my sister and I brought some store bought flowers. It gave me an excuse to head up to Whole Foods- yum! and found some beautiful Daisies and a few sunflowers.

I snapped this through the window screen- several little vases are also filled for ladies of mostly my grandmother that my mom still likes to put bouquets on their grave markers.

A few years ago I wrote about our family's  tradition of taking flowers out to the cemetery.  You can read it Here. Today in Minnesota, I am sure the graves of my great and great great grandparents are being decorated by my aunts. Later in the week, they and my mom will chat on the phone and get a report of how the peonies, the lilacs and other cutting flowers fared this year.

Our family plot is out at the newer cemetery, out of town towards Fort Collins. Mom brought the old tarp, water jug, and clippers and instructed her granddaughters in washing off and filling the vases that slide out from the tombstones, as an elderly Veteran stood over a grave also marked with a small flag. I wonder if he likes us chatting about Donny, my Grandparents and Great Uncle and Aunts while we filedl the vases with flowers or wished the surrounding were more serene.

I also wondered how my daughter and nieces  feel  leaving memorials to family members they had never met. There is a certain eeriness to it- I have always felt that, my Uncle Donny was killed in Vietnam only a year before I was born, but I feel I know him.

My Grandmother and now my mom take his flag, that draped his coffin when he was buried, now flies somewhere around the cemetery. We will go out tomorrow and retrieve it.

Remembering out of respect is important and I'm certain, my sister and I and then our daughters will bring flowers out when my mom is gone, but when is it that memories fade away and the reason behind something is forgotten. I know my feelings towards my Grandma, who is now buried beside my Grandpa, who died when I was four- is much different because I knew her. I loved her, I have my own memories of her sitting in her favorite chair, in the afternoon sun, drinking her coffee and nibbling on a small piece of a snicker bar, a whole one would last her a week- telling me stories of having to go find Donny when he was a kid at the lake where he was fishing because he lost track of time or how she decided to burn most of his things after he was killed because she couldn't give them away.

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