I like a day set aside for remembering. It’s not as if I don’t think of those that are no longer with us on other days, but this day is singular – a Day of Remembrance.
Our families veterans include great-grand fathers, my Gresham grandfather, great uncles, uncles, cousins, my Dad and my husband. All served their country in wars and peace.
I have a friend whose family and community still gather at the cemetery for the day, to sweep away the leaves and debris from the graves. They visit and clean the headstones, replacing the faded flowers with fresh wreaths, plastic or silk flowers. If there are graves no longer visited, these are not forgotten, they are tended and swept and cleaned too as a grace to those that went before. Then the families will picnic on the grounds, tell stories and laugh as they remember.
This tradition speaks to me. There are times I wish our family had not spread out across the country and we could come together on a singular day to tell stories and clean gravestones, leaving fresh bouquets for our loved ones.
I like the idea of this renewal of ties to the dead. They are always with us and this morning I am remembering those that have gone before me: my grandparents, the Allens and the Greshams, my great grandmother, LaLocke, my beloved Dad, my great nephew, Gabriel, a beloved friend’s daughter, my husband’s father,Pop, Aunt Toni, Aunt Nonie, Uncle Marty and Aunt Carol. So many friends and loved ones to remember, tell their stories and with laughter and love, keep their memories alive.
And, today especially, we remember my beloved niece’s brother in law, Lance Corporal Phillip Vinnedge, killed in Afghanistan in 2010.