Family Traditions. I’m big on them.
And yesterday we kept one of my favorites. Memorial Day.
I know that memorial day means a lot of different things to a lot of different people….and that everyone has their own way of observing it. From breakfasts to BBQ’s and from public gatherings to private prayer.
For my family we annually visit at least 3 different cemeteries (and often more). We caravan with parents, grandparents, and siblings from place to place stopping in between for sodas and lunch. It’s a full day event.
And at every stop we tell and hear the same stories we’ve heard over and over and over again…the one about my great great grandpa who settled this town….the one about my grandpa’s “old maid” aunt who raised all his other aunt’s illegitimate children (a personal favorite)…stories about the great grandmother I’m named after…and the stories of my husband’s grandpa during the war….I’ve heard them all a million times and I never get tired of it. Ever.
As we tell stories we trim the grass around the headstones and scrub and shine them up. And then we leave our flowers and flags and pinwheels….
And then we look for some others that could use some love. This year it’s was Grace’s official job to find any headstones that needed flowers and then to decorate them as well. (Everyone deserves to be remembered.)
Maybe it’s weird that we spend the entire day hanging out in cemeteries, but I love it. It helps me feel tied to my past…where I came from…what brought me to where I am today…those who came before me…and it fills me with gratitude. I want to know, I want to remember AND I want my children to know.
And so we go every year and talk and clean and laugh and cry and take photos of the exact same headstones….because that is what we do. It’s tradition, and like I said earlier, I’m big on family traditions.