Yes, I will be having fun this Memorial Day Weekend but I do remember a time when I actually honored what Memorial Day is all about. My family comes from Walla Walla, Washington. We still have a lot of family living down there. When my grandparents were still living, we would usually go down to Walla Walla to spend the weekend with them. I still remember the Memorial Day trips to the history-filled cemetery with my grandma. As I have said before, I have a fascination with cemeteries and I think that interest really sparked with these Memorial Day outings. Anyway, my brother, sister, and I would get in the car with my grandma and we would drive to Mountain View Cemetery. Armed with probably a dozen different plants we would make the rounds. We would go to the Catholic portion of the yard and we would go right to the plot reserved for all of the priests. Grandma would put a plant on a couple of the stones of the most recently deceased priests who had served her parish church, St. Francis of Assisi. Then, we would go to the Italian section of the cemetery (right next to the Catholic section of course), and pay respects to her (our) family. We would put plants on the tombstones of her siblings and my grandpa’s siblings and other relatives who had passed. At each stop she would talk to the tombstone, and if it was someone who we had never met, she would “introduce” us. These chats were always very sweet and filled with love. Lastly, in the early years, she would visit the gravesite of her deceased daughter. Unfortunately, by the time I was thirteen, she was visiting the gravesites of two of her daughters. These were definitely very sad and emotional times, and believe me, the significance was not lost on a thirteen year old boy.
This weekend I am off to Seattle for the Mariners-Angels series. As I write this, I am in Spokane at my parents’ house. Last night after work I traveled from Missoula to Spokane. After a great night of hospitality bestowed on me by my parents, I am just about ready to head out the door to Ellensburg where I will meet my brother. After lunch, we will make the short drive to Seattle. We will be watching the games tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday so we will definitely get our baseball fix in.
Once again, Happy Memorial Day! What a great time to honor and remember everyone has passed on, especially the brave souls who have served our country in the armed forces. Have a safe holiday and take some time to reflect. Don’t Blink.