Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Yesterday my family and I headed to our local legion, listened as the names of all the fallen soldiers were read…one by one, men and women who served our country and either lost their lives during their services or sometime afterwards…I sat there, willing myself not to cry.  I was so moved by it all. I couldn't help but think of the mothers of those fallen soldiers.  The pain they felt when they were notified… the not knowing what their child's last few moments of life were like… the longing for just one more moment, one more touch, one more smile… to lose your child, no matter how honorable the circumstance, is horrific.  Than I wondered why I was trying  so hard not to cry… death is sad, there is no way around that!

 I was happy we went.  It felt good to honor those people.  I can tell you, however, prior to losing our own son I probably wouldn't have cared.  I wouldn't have thought twice about going to the cemeteries to see the flags… it would not have occurred to me.  However, since Declan has passed away, we have made sure his stone is 'ready' for Memorial day each year… we meticulously pick out decorations that we think will hold up to the mid-western wind, the blazing hot sun and yet still be considered appropriate for a child.  We head out there with a bucket of warm water, paper towels and a broom to clean it and make sure the winter hasn't done any damage.   Suddenly, it matters.

Since losing Declan, Nate and I enjoy walking through rows of cemeteries, looking at each one and pondering the stories behind them.   Sometimes we laugh that we don't know anyone else our age who has so much fun walking around cemeteries.   On Friday night, when we brought the last of our new decorations out to Declan's stone, we ended up playing with the kids and Murray for 15 minutes.   We chased Murray around and we were all laughing… as hot tears stung my eyes, I took a quick moment to ponder what we were doing.  We were playing in a cemetery.  We were laughing and having fun… and every single one of us felt content with it.  I noticed a car driving by and I wondered what we must look like… I am sure they thought it was an odd place to hangout.

The service that moved me to tears….

The flags that were breathtaking! Amazingly beautiful! 

The firing of the guns… gives me goosebumps every time! 

My husbands grandpa, Lloyd and his uncle Joe's stones.  

My husbands other grandparents, Wally and Leona's stone.

My grandparents, Sylvester and Phyllis. 

Declan's stone…. 

My niece, Medbh and my brother looking at Dex's stone.  It was really cute because we have pinwheels in the front of his stone and she walked right up and started playing with them… exactly the way it should be I think… nothing scary, simply inviting.  

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