“In their simplest sense, traditions are inventions people make in order to hold fast to home and one another. Little things, often repeated, become woven into the commonplace of existence like bright threads, giving character, lending enchantment. The children’s accumulated memories of family traditions go with them through their lives.”
“The traditions holding families together are neither costly, complicated or copyrighted. They are often so small and so simple that the world outside would hardly recognize them. With these traditions go love and companionship, dignity and peace, and heritage children will work hard to preserve.”
—Monroe & Shirley Paxman 1972
Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day.
I had planned to write about how we always celebrated it growing up…about watching my dad painstakingly clean my little brothers headstone year after year …about how I love visiting the cemetery in a city that my ancestors helped found and where generations of them are buried…and about how much I enjoyed watching Simon and Grace searching through names to find those we are related to.
But that would be a lot of information…and stories…and would inevitably lead to me becoming sidetracked. So I won’t…I’ll try to stay on track….and just say:
I love Memorial Day.
And I love the traditions that we observe along with it.
I am so glad that my parents felt it was important enough to make the observance of it a tradition.
I am equally glad that we are carrying on those traditions with our family.
For me, there is something to be said for knowing where one comes from.
Sometimes as I look into the faces of my little ones, for a small moment, I catch a glimpse of the women who came before me—my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother—and I can feel their power and goodness reflected in my girls.
And I thank God for the simple traditions handed down to me through the generations that have helped to shape my world and for the family I have now to share those same traditions with.
I only hope that the traditions that we are now keeping and those we are beginning help to make my children feel as loved and safe as I felt growing up.