Memorial Day may have come and gone, but not the memories. This post from our own Peg Palmer isn't about Memorial Day as much as it's about special memories of family, friends and her childhood.
We all lead such busy lives. What a kick it would be if we all learned to slow things down now and then and just take the time to cherish the legacy of childhood memories our parents gave us. It's the greatest gift of all, and yet we so often forget...
When I was growing up, Memorial Day weekend was a time for families, picnics and parades honoring veterans. Everyone had a paper poppy pinned to their chest, there were speeches and bands playing, and a great sense of connection to those who had gone before us. There was always a trip to the cemeteries to put red geraniums on the graves.
Each headstone had a story. We’d listen to our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – share stories and remember who was buried there, how they were related to us. It was a tradition that gave us as kids a feeling for the past, and a sense of connection to generations before us. We’d sometimes bring a picnic, and often ran into neighbors or old friends.
I remember one of the very old, white and worn white marble stones where my great grandfather was buried in the mid 1800s. I loved to hear stories about how he’d arrived on the prairies of South Dakota from Norway, taking the train as far west as it could go to find land for a farm and soil that would be tilled for the very first time. It was an oral tradition that brought us all together.
My grandparents had wonderful stories to share. I’m sorry to say that tradition has gone by the wayside for my kids. My parents are buried in the little cemetery overlooking fields and pastures. It’s too far away to visit. But took time with my kids Memorial Day weekend to just for remember those who’ve gone before us.
About Peg Palmer
Peg Palmer is director of communications and public education for the Friendship Centers. She has been with Senior Friendship Centers since 1996, and is editor of Prime Times, published by the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
Photo Credit: © Christopher Bradshaw - Fotolia.com