Several decades ago, on a Memorial Day, I was getting dressed in my matching pedal pushers and shirt. It was a beautiful summer day and our family was headed to the annual church Memorial Day picnic.

Several decades ago, on a Memorial Day, I was getting dressed in my matching pedal pushers and shirt. It was a beautiful summer day and our family was headed to the annual church Memorial Day picnic.

Grazing in the Grass, by The Friends of Distinction, was playing on the radio, when Mom yelled up the stairs to me. She wanted me to go to the cemetery with her before the church picnic.

I told her I would, as soon as I could find the sandals, which matched my pedal pushers. Everything had to match.

Mom was meticulous about the cemetery and flowers. The cemetery was a family reunion to her. She was very cognizant, and especially respectful, to her ancestors.

The week prior, mom had gone to market to buy flowers for the graves. She liked all kinds of flowers, but geraniums were her favorite. The flowers had to be perfect so they would last longer.

My mom was a very busy woman with six children, working, and dad's bad health. However, she would never miss the annual cemetery retreats.

We did travel to three cemeteries that day. Mom carefully arranged each jar of flowers in front of the headstone. She prayed for each person before she left their grave. What an example she was to me.

I would do the same, if I lived in my hometown. I too, have a deceased family member, a daughter Kristin, buried in California. Kristin is Kelsey’s twin. I wish I lived closer, so I could take flowers to her grave.

Memorial Day was originally created as a tribute to our fallen military friends. But today, Memorial Day has evolved into a tribute to all of our deceased ancestors.

I believe Memorial Day is a good holiday.

James Barrie, the Scottish poet, declared, “God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the December of our lives.”

I know what mom will be doing on Memorial Day. She’ll wake and rush downstairs to check on my dad. He sleeps in the living room on a hospital bed.

She’ll tend to his needs and after his caregiver arrives, she’ll go to the back door to check on her pre-bought cemetery flowers. If a flower looks droopy, she’ll pull it out and put it in a vase for her kitchen table.

Then, mom will place a dozen eggs in a large pot, to boil them for deviled eggs. She’ll probably bake a chocolate cake for the picnic, too.

After bathing my dad, she will get herself ready to go to the cemeteries. 

She’ll load the flowers into the back of her 1997 Chevy Cavalier.

If dad is awake enough, she’ll take him along with her. She will also load her food for the picnic. Then, off she goes to a day of respect toward her deceased, and living, family and friends.

Since my teenage years, I may recall my pedal pushers and some of my favorite songs from the ’60s. However, I cannot forget each moment in time with my mom from Memorial Days of the past.

May I conclude with the words of wisdom inscribed on the wall of Stanford University Memorial Hall? “We must teach our youth that all that is not eternal is too short, and all that is not infinite is too small.”

Readers, enjoy your holiday.