My Memorial day
My first memory of Memorial Day. I was a child. I remember being dragged by my mother to visit this little old lady who had a small yippie dog. I remember this mostly because I am obsessed with animals and seeing that little dog turned my whole attitude around. As we were leaving that house I asked why we were going, and my mom said its memorial day and that lady had somewhere to be. Thats it, my first memory of that day. I am sure I was only 5 or maybe 6. Nothing life changing there except for learning there was such a holiday.
As the years passed by I lived my carefree little life forgetting about memorial day, having no reason to stop and feel anything. Until one really hard year for my family. My brother was killed. I was 10 years old on the memorial day that I had a reason, an opportunity to stop and feel something. I understood now.
for 16 years I have understood the feeling that those who have never lost someone close to them so suddenly can only try and relate to, but that is not what this blog post is about.
I did not learn to respect peoples losses until it happened to me. I did not understand nor did I care to be apart of something bigger than myself. In a tiny minuscule fraction of a way I am grateful for a loss. Seeing it is the only way I opened my eyes and saw others around me for who they are growing, striving, struggling to overcome trials to be.
My ten year old self on that bittersweet memorial day got to be apart of something.
In the little town I grew up in every year they host at the cemetery a big gathering, for anyone and everyone. before they start the ceremony everyone is handed a balloon filled with helium, and a marker. It is intended for people to sit and write a message to their loved ones who have gone on. I never know what to write.. I know my brother already knows what I want to tell him each day, but to sit down and write it.. its a new kind of healing I think. After the ceremony there are gun shots fired and everyone at the same time lets go of their balloons.. it is simply amazing to see the sky filled with all these notes.
I know for me I had to lose someone in order to appreciate not only this day, but people for what they have had to overcome in life, I have been in a dark place so I can relate. I know not everyone has lost a loved one, and I cant even begin to tell you how blessed you are to not understand such pain. But just because you haven't does not mean you cant relate. You are welcome. I strongly encourage you to find a community program like ours, bring your children and teach them, explain to them that we have a day dedicated to honoring and celebrating loved ones moving on. I had the chance to teach a 5 year old this week about it, they can grasp more then we think. I know this day is viewed is a 3 day weekend that will be filled with swimming, yard work, BBQs and fun. I do hope that you will take the time next year to attend a ceremony, be apart of something beautiful, honor those who have moved on, and stop and feel something. Even if its just for a moment.