Monday, May 26, 2014

Decoration Day 2014

Today is Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day.





Years ago we would load up in the pick up and take flowers up to the cemetery in Ottumwa, Iowa.  It was a good 2 hour drive or so from the farm in Missouri.  Mom, Dad, and I would plan the day, visiting mom's sister along the way before going out to the cemetery to put flowers on stones that were weathered and beaten with age.  Family members from a century before or more laid there, some of them early early members of Ottumwa and Wapello county.

It's been a long long while since I've been back to decorate the graves.  I've moved a long way away from Iowa.  Mom now lays in that same cemetery in Ottumwa after losing a battle with cancer, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.  Shawl has been her earthly home for 11 years.  Dad moved to the cemetery in Bevier, Missouri in 2001 after a battle with cancer and Parkinson's disease and diabetes.

Dad served in WWII, in the Pacific Theater.  He was in the Philippines right after the liberation of the Bataan POW camp.  He was 18 or so at the time.  What he saw he wouldn't speak about, but showed mixed feelings on his service.  He was drafted into service from the farm, he had to do things that scarred him for life, but he was proud serve his country when they called.

Dad's funeral flag stays in a place where you can't help but see it.  It stays atop a big wooden shelf, in a triangle driftwood glass front box, that you can't miss when you're in the living room.  If you look in our windows for that room, you will easily see it.  It is my "memorial" to remember him by.  Mom's "memorial" is in a different way.  It is in the shape of a quilt that is coming together, with pieces of her dresses stitched in the blocks.  It is in cookbooks she left me, that I cook with regularly.  These things the family see, but they don't see the things they left inside that I use and remember each day.  Those are the real memorials.

Today, don't forget who fought for your freedoms, who died for you on the battlefield, and who died for you on the cross!


Shared at:  The Modest Mom

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