Raise your flags, buy some poppies and prepare to decorate the family cemeteries, as it’s nearly Memorial Day. Hopefully, Memorial Day will begin a beautiful summer.

Raise your flags, buy some poppies and prepare to decorate the family cemeteries, as it’s nearly Memorial Day. Hopefully, Memorial Day will begin a beautiful summer.

Memorial Day, which is next Monday, is traditionally celebrated on the last Monday of May. Historically, this special day was devoted to honoring men and women who served in the military.

Somewhere, I’ve read that Memorial Day originated following the Civil War and officially became a federal holiday in 1971. I personally have witnessed Memorial Day as a tribute to all ancestors.

Memorial Day is a significant tradition at my parents’ home.

Right about now, my mom is placing glass jars, in an organized row on the bench, outside her back door. She has begun her process of preparing the back yard flowers for their transport to the family cemeteries. She keeps her eye out for the prettiest flowers and freshest crop.

This is a meaningful tradition for my mom, this is a simple devotion to her deceased loved ones, including her mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, Aunt Bert, her sisters and brothers, my baby sister and many more.

I’ve witnessed mom’s dedication to past family members from year to year. She places her affectionately arranged flowers at each grave. As she kneels by each grave, I’ve observed mom silently talking to her mother and father and other deceased family members as she places the flowers.

I can only imagine how much mom misses her parents and other family. Her dedication to them through this annual ritual is an inspiration to all of our family. Mom’s unspoken act is a tender reminder of the loving family, she misses, and who await her presence.  

When I’ve had my children with me and mom at these Memorial Day visits, I’ve heard my children say, “Grandma really loves them, doesn’t she?”

At this moment, it seems fitting to share a quote by M. Grundler: “The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day.”

Annually, on Memorial Day, I believe my mom is giving back.

Readers, enjoy the holiday.