Wave your flags this day.
Honor those who risked it all.
Stars forever shine.
I pondered before making the decision, but only briefly.
I hadn’t intended to visit the beautiful cemetary before me today, but my plans had changed.
Though the remains of my parents, brother and husband rest elsewhere, my grandparents ashes are in this sacred spot.
The lush, green rolling hills are striking and it’s been decades since I’ve visited.
Yet an additional draw for me today was the arts.
And there was plenty of it.
Music sang from all directions. The local police band played the traditional patriotic songs, but also offerings were made of gospel, classical, folk, and swing.
And there was poetry, including a poetry writing class with critiques available for all.
There was also drawing sessions with guidance, paper, and pastels freely given by professional artists.
Photography, too, was represented with creative and technical tips being shared by instructors.
With white doves soaring above and shiny horse drawn carriages trotting along side me, opportunities for subjects to shoot were everywhere.
Unfortunately my digital camera, currently short a memory card, peacefully rested at home missing the events.
But in the camera’s honor, and also that of my sweet caramel loving grandmother, I did pen one short poem in my poetry session that reads:
My memories are like caramels.
Savored and sweet.
Melting on my tongue till they’re gone.
Maybe I can freeze them?
All right, I admit I was really hungry and hot when I wrote it.
I’ll try again next year.
While coming across Dad’s book of World War II cartoons that he’d drawn, and letters he’d written home, I also found some old piano sheet music. It belonged to Dad’s mother, Grandma Hazel. She adored the piano and played it with vigor. Every time she performed, the songs were played with her classic “honky tonk” style. I loved that she was still able to play for other residents in her care facility, as her own Alzheimer’s continued to progress.
I just returned after a visit to see my husband Richard in his home. For a special treat, I brought over a big box of chocolate donuts, topped with red, white and blue sprinkles in the shape of stars, for both residents and staff.
I heard piano music as I entered. A volunteer had stopped by and was playing classic patriotic songs, and other tunes as well, all decades old. I knew every one. All had been on Grandma’s playlist.
I thought a lot about Grandma as the volunteer played the familiar tunes. I thought a lot about Richard too, and 25 years of Memorial Day picnics enjoyed together.
Somehow I became a little sad as I left, and walked out into the rain.