5/30/2005

My memorial Day

This is the Wiz's post--she Emailed it to me because she was temporarily unable to access blogger. All the credit goes to her! So, technically, today is Memorial Day. However, we decided to go visit the graves of our progenitors yesterday instead, due to the fact that we just wanted to. My family hooks up with my brother's family, and we're off to the cemetery to memorialize. Now, when I say "hook up", I mean that they came over to our house, where we changed diapers, made sure all the 4 year olds went potty, and generally took half an hour to leave the house. Between the two families, there are 7 children, with SIL due to deliver any day. First stop: Wal-Mart. Yes, it was Sunday, and yes, we're all going to burn, but we had no flowers, and really, what is the point of going to visit graves if you have no flowers to put on them? My brother and I wander through the garden center, looking for mums, because for some reason, mums are the flower of choice when it comes to dead people on Memorial Day. Brother: Are those mums? I hate Wal-Mart. Me: No, those are petunias, and this is a nice Wal-Mart. Bro: Are those mums? Does everybody know that mums are for dead people? Me: No, those are geraniums, and they're hanging plants. No hanging plants for the graves. And yes, everyone knows mums are for dead people. Bro: Yeah, they're too expensive anyway. Are those mums? Me: No, those are zinnias. Don't you know what mums look like? Usually they have a display of mums in the front, right when you walk in. Bro: I hate Wal-Mart. So we are walking out, and lo and behold! A display of "Memorial Day Mums" is right in front of our faces. Now, in our defense, we didn't see them before because there were only two things of mums on the display table, and they were the saddest looking flowers you've ever seen. We decide to head to the local grocery store. We are walking into the store, with flowers displayed everywhere. Bro: Are those mums? Me: Again, those are hanging plants, and again, they are geraniums. Once inside the store, the mums are displayed. Look! 3 for 10! You buy six, and I'll buy six. We cleared the mum display, and each of went looking for our respective snacks to munch on in the car, with the excuse that we were buying them to keep the children happy. At the check-out, I see my brother looking at the newspaper. Me: What are you doing here? I thought you were in the car. Bro: Abby's in the bathroom. Finally, we are off the cemetery! 5 minutes later, I hear "I need to go potty." My 6 yr. old: Why didn't you go before we left? My 6 yr.old niece: I did. I still need to go. Well, too bad. We're going to the cemetery, which is not known, as such, for its toilet facilities. We get there, and immediately begin the search for the graces, since this is the first year we've done this without our parents. We find one set of grandparents fairly easily, and have a nice time briefly reminiscing about them. The cries of "I need to go potty" were silenced in the excitement of deciding who got to place the flowers, who got to water them, and where was my toddler going? As we headed down to the next grave, and the cries began again in earnest, and also began to multiply. "I need to go potty!" "Me too!" "Whose grave is this?" "Hey! Somebody already put flowers here! Can we keep them?" "Look at that grave! It has an angel on it!" "Can I ride in the front?" "Is there a bathroom here?" "Hey, we're almost out of gas." After the next set of graves, we decide to send one set of kids up to Grandma's house, which is nearby, so that they can visit the potty facilities. Every child except for two decide that Grandma's house is way more fun than the graveyard. So my SIL leaves, with 5 kids in tow. My DH, my brother and his 4 year old, and me and my toddler set off to find the hard to find graves. Eventually we do, with DH (the only one, technically, not related to these people) being the one to find them. Hurray for him! It's no wonder my family likes him better than they like me. What's not to like, really? At Grandma's house, my oldest has a bout of diarrhea, and my niece has a potty accident. I'm sure my parents were sad they missed out on the grave visiting this year. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

8 Comments:

Blogger annegb said...

I have always enjoyed visiting cemeteries. Now I take care of the graves of 4 generations of my family. There is something spiritual about it for me.

My son died in October. The memorial day after his death, we went to the cemetery to plant flowers and his friend came, we did not expect him. He was an 18 year old boy, not religious at all, but this young boy dressed completely in suit and tie (we were all in jeans) and stood at his friend's grave and sobbed. We were speechless before his grief.

He joined the Marines (like my son) and is now serving as a staff sargeant in Iraq, training the Iraqis to guard their oil wells. He has a wife and three children.

Today we planted flowers again and visited with all the other parents whose children are now in the neighborhood. Sad, but somehow also elevating. I can't explain it.

5/30/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

We had a great Memorial Day--lots of family fun and a barbeque with friends. Dh didn't have to work, so that was especially nice. Still, I always feel a littel guilty for not doing something more formal to commemorate Memorial Day, especially in light of our current military situation in the Middle East. Somehow a barbeque doesn't seem quite appropriate.

5/31/2005 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

I usually went to visit my sister, brother and nephew's graves on Memorial Day, but I live in a different state now. My sister's birthday was May 28th and it always falls near Memorial Day weekend.

I've always loved cemeteries even when I was a kid. I love the sense of history you get there. One of my favorites was in a suburb of Seattle, an old pioneer cemetery that hardly anyone knew about. My favorite grave there was this one:

http://qsysue.tagplazen.org/images/monster.jpg

I've always wanted to know their story.

5/31/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

I'm so sorry about your sister and her family.

5/31/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

Thanks annegb, I'm sorry about your son.

My sister died 7 months after my brother did, he was 34, she was about 32. The nephew I mentioned was my other sister's son, he died when he was 2 or 3. My parents went back to my sister's grave the day after her funeral and distributed most of the flowers from her funeral to other nearby graves, because that's just exactly how she was. Always giving to people.

5/31/2005 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

Boy, that's rough for your folks. I've "met" a lot of people blogging who have lost children and it's validating.

I think you missed something on your reference to that grave site, because the little hand doesn't come up.

5/31/2005 06:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

I'm not sure what you mean by little hand? Do you mean you can't click on the link? Try this:

http://qsysue.tagplazen.org/images/monster.jpg

"Baby Monster"

5/31/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

LOL, the little hand that shows up when the words turn blue and you click on and it takes you somewhere.

Checking it out now.

5/31/2005 09:09:00 PM  

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